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À l'école des bambous
© Via Découvertes Production
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Uttam Sanjel, jeune réalisateur népalais lassé des paillettes de Bollywood s'est reconverti corps et âme dans un projet utopique : l'éducation de tous les enfants pauvres de son pays. En construisant des cabanes en bambou, il s'est promis de scolariser 150 000 enfants pour un euro par mois chacun, tout en leur offrant les meilleurs professeurs. Aux prises avec les plus redoutables obstacles que sont l'anarchie et la corruption, il a su créer l'espace nécessaire à la réalisation des onze premières écoles. Il lui en reste soixante à construire. Mais, dans une situation politique où le parti maoïste dominant en veut la disparition, l'avenir de ces milliers d'enfants et, probablement de la jeune démocratie népalaise, pourrait bien être compromis. En croisant la vie frénétique de Uttam Sanjel avec l'autoportrait de trois jeunes écoliers filmant leur propre vie, nous découvrons loin des clichés touristiques, une création étonnante émergeant telle une "Success Story" de l'anarchie népalaise. Mais combien de temps, le héros saura-t-il résister aux paillettes de la notoriété ou aux dictats maoïstes? Quel avenir pour les Bamboo Schools et leurs élèves

Nepal, one of the world's poorest nations, has been on the edge of anarchy for the last ten years. In terms of education, parental choice is limited to a bankrupt public school system or impossibly expensive private schools. In this chaos, Sanjel Uttam, a former Bollywood film director, has become the director of an utopia. He has set himself the challenge of making education accessible to all Nepal's poor children. In recent years ten schools have been built out of bamboo. Today they welcome 20,000 children and 800 teachers. Seven are under construction. He wants to build seventy-five. Following the construction of a school, our camera films Nepal as experienced by Uttam, and his remarkable life and ceaseless struggle in this chaotic ferment. We discover how, in a context of widespread corruption and general disorder, a young Nepalese can organize, fund and develop what has now become an institution which has received both opposition and recognition from the authorities in power. What difficulties does he face, what is his real motivation and how does he deal with success? In counterpoint, two schoolgirls and a schoolboy, Anjela, Parbati and Bijay, who come from different regions and different backgrounds, each use a small HD camera to invite us into the adventure of their lives. They guide us through their world and make us perceive the magnitude of the changes that these schools have made to their existence. Through their eyes we understand how their enthusiasm and pride at being part of this adventure are critical to the success of the schools. They enlighten us about how utopia is being constructed to become reality

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