Blog Post #10: Amar

While most American kids only have to concern themselves with what activity they want to dedicate their evenings to, Amar, (who we assume is from India), is a kid who has been forced to grow up at a very young age. His days do not go by with carefree feelings of enjoying a day at school, only to be picked off by mom or dad and taken to soccer or baseball practice. No. Instead, he begins his day by waking up at about 3:00am. He moves about the tiny one-two room living space so as not to wake his younger siblings and parents, all of whom share a bed. His efforts are in vain seeing that everyone watches him prepare to leave to start his newspaper delivery route, whispering “goodbye” as he steps through the feeble doorway. Amar doesn’t have his parents to drive him from point A to B. He instead relies on his sturdy bicycle to get him all over the city. In between stops, or after completing his round (6:00am), he spends a little bit of time reading the content on the day’s paper, in its entirety. He then heads to work for a few hours. After, he returns home to freshen up before going immediately to school. After school is more work, followed by a late night of studying. We assume, from the video’s conclusion, that the pattern just repeats itself.

 

Strategies

The immediately noticeable and rather interesting strategy that caught my attention was the lack of words or voices in this documentary. Rather than using an individual to narrate the story, the creator(s) chose to only include sounds from the surrounding environment(s) to serve as the soundtrack. This allowed me to really focus on what Amar was doing, and to really grasp the intensity of this eleven or twelve year old kid’s life. He was enduring (without complaint) things that I know the average adult couldn’t even begin to handle. This choice of (shall we say), “isolation”in terms of voices, created a strong impact and was cool because it was something I immediately recognized, though it was in no way off-putting or distracting from the overall story. The only time when this pattern was sidestepped was when Amar was in school- where the class was learning English and the teacher continually correcting him as he read aloud. This was intentional. His learning the English language was the one factor that connected him to the States.

Use of time/ captions

I LOVED how the creators chose to incorporate time captions as the theme (into the title), and use it to mark scene changes and cuts as Amar moved about throughout the day. They helped with marking the story and keeping things in order and flowing. It helped the viewer to more easily follow along and keep pace with everything that was going on. In addition, I think this immensely helped with putting the challenges and amazing work ethic of Amar (who never once complained) into perspective.

In regards to my own project, this one showed me that silence can in fact be golden. A lot of talking and narration is not always necessary to create an impact. However, if it is properly placed it can make all the difference. I also saw that the use of captions can really enhance a story or assist with the flow of my story. Key points: captions need to be relevant and have key placement.

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