East Village Entertainment

The Backward Class

The Backward Class


They come from the poorest of the poor, but they’ve been given an education worthy of the wealthiest of the wealthy. Their school is a social experiment, whose sources of funding are struggling through the economic crisis. They are the twelfth graders of Shanti Bhvan School, living proof of the forgotten potential of the rural poor. A hopeful coming-of-age story – the first class of Dalit (‘untouchable’)  caste students in India’s history, who undertake the national ISC high school graduation exams as a means to a brighter future for themselves, and an opportunity to break their families out of the destitution they’ve been entrenched for generations. More about the film here.


2014 Audience Award Winner - Hot Docs Int'l Canadian Documentary Film Festival
2014 Can-Am Grand Prix of Cinema Award - Windsor International Film Festival
2014 World Documentary Award - Whistler Film Festival


"… a genuinely moving and inspiring documentary that will resonate with viewers." - Craig Takeuchi, The Georgia Straight

"…intimately captures an inspiring story of perseverance, and… doesn’t shy away from addressing the very real challenges, sacrifices and ethical dilemmas that are being faced." - Jury – Alliance of Women Film Journalists

"Had me crying and cheering at the end…" - Alex Hutt, Canadian Film Review

"…Grant spends enough time with her subjects to fully illustrate what they have to overcome and how insurmountable it must seem to all of them." - Andrew Parker, Dork Shelf

Director/Producer: Madeleine Grant
Producer: Jessica Cheung
Executive Producers: Murray Battle, Miranda de Pencier
Associate Producer: Aynsley Baldwin    Cinematography: Nathan Drillot, Chris Hebert, Mike Rae
Editor: Aynsley Baldwin    Co-Editor: Greg Ng    Composer: Edo Van Breemen
2014, Canada/India, 91 min, in English

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