An 11-year-old boy fights his way out of life in the ‘rathole’ coal mines, to educate himself.
The ‘rat-hole’ mines in the Jaintia Hills of northeast India, are hostile pits where men and boys risk their lives every day to scratch coal out of hard rock. Burrowing into narrow tunnels, they are armed with nothing more than a pickaxe and a torch. Each of them comes to the coal-pit forced by different circumstances but once there, they’re all looking for a chance to break out. Some are able to escape, most don’t. With the odds stacked against him, 11-year old Suraj, toils in the dangerous mines with an indomitable spirit and a stubborn smile, hoping to one day escape the dark abyss and return to school. A transporting and immersive journey, fostering deep emotional connectedness to its subjects, Fireflies in the Abyss illustrates how even seemingly insurmountable obstacles can help the human spirit grow.
Winner Golden Conch for Best Film and Best Cinematography, Mumbai, India
Winner Best Long Documentary, International Documentary & Shortfilm Festival, Kerala
Winner Golden Lotus for Best Non-Feature Film, 64th National Film Awards, India
Official Selection, Busan International Film Festival, Busan, South Korea
Official Selection, Hot Docs, Toronto, Canada
Countries: India, United Kingdom, Canada/The Netherlands
Duration: 56′ & 88′
Year of Production: 2015
Director: Chandrasekhar Reddy
Producer: Chandrasekhar Reddy
Official Website: www.firefliesintheabyss.com