The Rat Race

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English (subtitled), 52 min, 2011, India

'The Rat Race' winds its way through the grimy underbelly of Mumbai, through dimly lit alleys and crowded markets to tell the story of the city’s rat killers. Home to 14 million people and 84 million rats competing for the same space and resources! 'The Rat Race' is a moving true life account of the city's rat killers who set out every night armed with a torch and stick to bring back the carcasses of 30 rats.
 
As the rat killer stalks the sidewalks of Mumbai above him looms chrome buildings that are the landscape of the future and below him are trails of garbage and refuse. To earn his daily wage and secure a brighter future for his children, he wages the most primitive battle between man and animal with the most basic of implements. Why such gruesome methods? Would not fumigation or poison be more humane? But how does one fumigate spaces swarming with rats and humanity? And how does one use poison where rodents and people forage for food?

 
Producer:
Aruna Balkrishna Singh, Miriam Chandy Menacherry
 
Creative Crew
Camera:
Deb Shankar Prasad, Sameer Mahajan, Sanjib Deb
Editing:
Hari Domal, Monisha Baldawa, Susan Zachariah
Sound:
Gissy Michael, Sunil D'Cunha
Music:
Joseph De Souza
Script: Arghya Lahiri, Mathew Menacherry | Graphics & Colour Correction: Bodhisatva Datta | This film was realised with the support of IDFA
 
Awards and Screenings:

 
Winner of the Mipdoc Co production challenge 2010, Cannes
Winner of the Best documentary’ at The International Documentary and Short Festival of Kerala, 2012
World premiere at International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, 2011
 
In competition at:
Mumbai International Film Festival, 2012
East End Film Festival, London, 2012
Jeevika Special mention Award at the Asia Livelihood Festival, 2012
DMZ Korea, 2012
Chicago South Asian Film Festival, 2012