A Robin Hood like electricity thief and a bureaucrat square off in a summer of crisis in Kanpur, a great industrial city now crumbling apart.
Country: India Runtime: 82' Director(s): Deepti Kakkar, Fahad Mustafa Writer(s): Producer(s): Globalistan Films DOP: Cast: Print Source: Fahad Mustafa Original Format:
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Screening – February 10th 9pm to 11:30pm

In most places the simple flick of a light switch occurs a countless amount of times each day. But in Kapur, ‘electricity poverty’ reigns: over 400,000 people live without viable electricity. The film opens with some insider terminology; a Katiya is an illegal wire used to steal electricity. Katiyabaaz is a master of these illegal wires.

28 year-old Loha Singh is a Katiyabaaz, stealing electricity from the better off and diverting it to his neighbourhood, to the frustration of the Ritu Maheshwari, director of the Kapur Electricity Supply Company (KESCO). But far from painting the situation as a simple Robin Hood scenario, Powerless is determined to explore the issue from both sides and illuminate the serious electricity crisis in India.

Combining energetic handheld footage with statuesque crane-shots, the documentary’s 3 cinematographers have captured the hurly-burly Kapur city life, from the life-in-his-hands moments when Singh taps into the power, to the offices where Ritu faces hostility as a woman in power. A vibrant film exploring a typically modern problem, Powerless is not to be missed.

Harry Jackman