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The Revolutionary Optimists

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Maren Grainger-Monsen & Nicole Newnham

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About the Movie

Set against the backdrop of the urban megalopolis of Calcutta,"The Revolutionary Optimists" profiles one small movement for change that has powerful implications for the billion people now living in the urban slums of the worlds growing cities. Salim and Sikha are twelve-year-olds --an unforgettable dynamic duo who are leading an effort to bring polio vaccination rates to 100% and are determined to raise their voices and demand clean drinking water for their slum. Kajal is a child laborer in one of the many brick kilns feeding India's housing boom, whose goal is to become a tailor and establish her economic independence, while supporting a movement for better conditions in the brickfield. And Priyanka is a talented teen who stands on a razor's edge between pursuing her dreams of becoming a teacher and dancer or succumbing to the early marriage that she has been led to believe is her fate. Weaving these young lives together is their teacher and mentor, the hot-headed former attorney and Indian visionary Amlan Ganguly, who believes that the slum dwellers of Kolkata deserve the same rights he enjoys as the Brahmin resident of a nearby suburb, and that true change will come only from changing the mindsets and raising the voices of the poor themselves. Together he and the children challenge the notion that marginalization is written into anyone's destiny.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 11
  • Fresh: 11
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 7.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: As heartening as it is to see a slum child tutored about vicious cycles of adversity and using the buzzword "partnership" with aplomb, the film comes to feel cut and dried. – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times, Mar 28, 2013

Fresh: A vital snapshot of developing world struggles and possibilities. – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Apr 18, 2013

Fresh: Change may be elusive, Optimists confirms, but the will to make it blazes. – Michelle Orange, Village Voice, Mar 12, 2013

Fresh: Most people could learn a lot from these little activists. – Stephanie Merry, Washington Post, Apr 5, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

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View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2013

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