Local is Lucky – stream the award-winning film on Showmax now

27 March 2018

Local is Lucky – stream the award-winning film on Showmax now

Drama movie Tsotsi might’ve made headlines in 2005 with its Oscar win, but that same year saw movie producer Avie Luthra present his short film called Lucky in the US. It was such a hit with critics that he got the thumbs up to turn it into a full-length feature film six years later.

And luckily for Showmax viewers, the award-winning drama film Lucky is walking its way into your lounge and is now ready for you to stream or download. Watch now »

And it seems there was a lot of luck involved putting it together…

Ten-year-old Lucky Ntlantla (Sihle Dlamini) is mourning his mother’s death from HIV/Aids in his rural village. It’s a tough life for the boy who has no one in his corner. He’s heard of the bright lights and big-city life in Jo’burg where his uncle lives – and to Lucky, that’s his future. So the plucky youngster packs his bags and gets stepping. He knocks on his uncle’s door and while he’s welcomed in, this isn’t the life that Lucky needs, wants or is willing to accept. His uncle has used Lucky’s school money on booze and prostitutes, leaving the boy with less than he arrived with.

That’s when his adventure really begins, explains movie director Avie Luthra in an interview with Film Movement. “When I wrote the short version, it was from things that I’d seen while I was living in South Africa. The story was ‘easy’ to come up with because it’s hard to live in South Africa and ignore these issues – they’re everywhere you look.”

And it’s lucky for movie fans that the British-born Avie was out here at the time, because he might not have made Lucky if he was still living in London. “I was out here with my partner at the time and I was writing a lot of TV work for back in Britain, but it made no sense to be in South Africa and not write something about the country. I felt a sense of urgency to make the short film before we returned to the UK, so I got writing…”

The director says that personal experience helped him with the plot idea. But what does a British citizen know of young boys, HIV and elderly Indian women in South Africa? A lot, as it turns out.

In his director’s statement, Avie reveals that when he lived in rural KZN, he saw 10-year-old boys at their mothers’ funerals and he knows about little old Indian ladies, being an Indian man himself.

“Seeing a boy at a funeral, it was nothing but a brief glimpse. His future struck me and made me wonder how he links to all the street children and homeless boys. And in post-apartheid Durban, witnessing tensions between Africans and Indians who were finally mixing made me wonder what would happen to an elderly, time-worn racist Indian if he or she had to confront this new presence head on.”

It seems everything to do with the movie involves a little luck. Especially for young lead star Sihle, who’d had only one small role in drama movie State of Violence a year earlier. He was part of an outreach programme in Jo’burg run by casting queen Moonyeenn Lee, who brought him to Avie for the role. And the rest is history, explains the director.

“Sihle was simply outstanding. He’s quite special and remarkable. He was a blessing.” But Sihle wasn’t the only star – he worked with Indian acting veteran Jayashree Basavaraj, who plays struggling little old lady Padma. She battles to see, needs a walking stick and like Lucky, she’s bullied by the youngsters in their neighbourhood. That link draws them together and they become a team, albeit very unlikely.

Their friendship is tested by crime, violence, anger, unease, being forced to compromise and trying to get through each day in one piece – especially when Lucky’s uncle returns to the picture, beats up Padma and then tries to take advantage of the boy and his social grant.

Without Padma’s frail but unfaltering hand, Lucky wouldn’t be taken back to his village and away from his aggressive uncle. He wouldn’t find out that his dad is possibly still alive. And he wouldn’t have a friend in the big city who wants to help him as much as she needs help from him.

Luck – you never know where it’s waiting for you, when it will help you and how it will change your life.

Stream Lucky on Showmax now

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