'Until I Fly' Is An Indian Documentary That Captures The Turmoil Of Mixed Heritage

Until I Fly
Until I FlyTaskovski Films

Indian directors Kanishka Sonthalia and Siddesh Shetty have created a brilliant cinematic bildungsroman in their latest documentary Until I Fly. The film charters an empathetic storytelling course and intricately explores the nuances of birth, identity, and borders. On the surface, it may seem that the Nepalese fit organically within Indian society but beneath that facade, there is the reality of ethnic discrimination. Until I Fly explores this reality through the life of its young protagonist, Veeru.

The film poster
The film posterRohan Dahotre

Veeru was born in a Himalayan village to an Indian mother and a Nepalese father. An insightful article by Variety sheds light on how the documentary takes its viewers through Veeru’s transformative journey over the years as he grapples with his dual heritage in a village where most of the residents detest his mixed lineage. He faces constant bullying from the local kids who resort to demeaning slurs that cut deeper than a surgeon’s scalpel. The bullying and the insults are not just limited to him but also to his mother, who suffers from visual impairment and bipolar disorder. Such collective ill-treatment affects the mind of a young Veeru. Instead of fighting back, he seeks sanctuary in the elusive world of gods and demons — nature becomes his sanctum and he dreams of befriending birds.

Until I Fly
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Veeru eventually moves to the forest and that is when he endures the chaos of a destructive deluge. Even when the odds are stacked so high against a young Veeru, he steadfastly clings to optimism. His fortunes later shift as he discovers Kabaddi and demonstrates exceptional prowess in the renowned contact sport; emerging as a formidable player. It is Veeru’s skill as a player that goes on to change his fate as well as that of his village.

Until I Fly will premiere on March 10 at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece.

"Shining a light on India’s social and political realities is deeply personal to us. Our film illuminates the challenges faced by a young boy while also offering a glimmer of hope, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit in adversity. It serves as a gentle reminder that even in the darkest moments, there exists an opportunity for growth, acceptance and a sense of belonging. Collaborating with Taskovski Films, whose values resonate with ours, fills us with gratitude and excitement as we embark on this journey to spark meaningful conversations and inspire positive change through their unique distribution approach."

Kanishka Sonthalia and Siddesh Shetty, in an interview with Variety

You can watch the trailer below.