The Market


By: Addison Wylie

The Market offers a rare look at an issue through generic eyes.  Filmmaker Rama Rau shouldn’t worry though.  I’m still recommending her transfixing film about kidney trafficking and the butterfly effect these risky surgeries cause.

Rau’s doc handles two different perspectives: life in an Indian slum, and the apprehensive idling of someone awaiting a kidney transplant in Canada.

Both views are packed with a lot of emotion as well as unforgettable talks and images.  But, it’s debatable that the story taking place in India has far more for Rau to work with when paired with the tale from the Great White North.

In the slum, the audience is introduced to Prabha, a broker for those wanting a silent surgery in Chennai, India.  The act of selling a kidney is highly illegal, which causes Prabha to be very direct when it comes to following procedures and communicating to the donors what they need to do and say.  The donors listen intently as they depend on the process to collect money to pay off debts.  The main focus comes from Prabha walking her sister Hema through this very dangerous transaction, and it never stops being interesting.

In Nanaimo, Canada, single mother Sandra feels pressured by her caring daughter to be more persistent with finding a proper kidney.  Rau records heartfelt exchanges and concerns, but we soon see Rau start running out of ideas regarding how else to deliver this information to an audience.  She does her best with the footage she has though, and its undoubtably effective.

The Market is a film that safely colours within the lines of a regular doc format, offering very little creativity in Rau’s filmmaking.  However, committed to her subjects, Rau eventually decides to merge the two perspectives.  The decision gains the film more credibility and a significant boost in interest.

The Market is a quick film, but it covers a lot of bases and opinions.  While its presentation may come across as being ordinary, the factual stories the doc holds are eminent and exceptionally educational.

DOC Institute’s Community Connections presents The Market as part of the ‘Free Film and Discussion’ series.

The screening takes place at the Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium in Toronto’s Reference Library (789 Yonge St.) on August 14.  Doors open at 5:30 pm and the screening begins at 6:00 pm (sharp).

A Q&A will follow the film moderated by Dr. Peter Lin and featuring Rama Rau along with a panel of prominent leaders in research, medicine, and advocacy.

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