November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
Budhia Singh’s sparkling athletic ability lifted the young marathoner from India’s slums to national stardom.
But his age — he ran marathons and longer distances starting at 3 — led to concerns about his well-being.
For Gemma Atwal, who filmed Budhia for five years, a crucial question was about how poverty in India could make such a young long-distance runner possible.
“In the West, it simply wouldn’t happen,” Atwal, whose documentary about Budhia made its TV debut Thursday night, said in a phone interview. “(My film is) about desperate poverty — you can see the effects all the way through.”
“Marathon Boy,” which follows Budhia from 2005 to 2010 and explores a line that his mentor walked between benevolence and opportunism, premiered Thursday night on HBO after screenings at numerous film festivals. HBO will show it again Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Budhia came to Atwal’s attention through a 2005 BBC…
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