‘Railway Redemption’ is the name of the 35-minute documentary from East London-based filmmaker Santiago Posada. It tells the touching story of 70-year old Sri Lankan busker Vijay, who makes a journey back home after not seeing his family for 25 years, because of a disagreement about the mysterious death of his mother. Vijay used to be a heavy drinking criminal, and it’s his last chance to make it up to his family, because his brother is very ill now.
Posada follows Vijay during his trip from his current home to Kandy, his old hometown, where his family still lives. The documentary perfectly tells the story of a man who threw away parts of his life and wants to restore as much as possible now he’s 70 years old. Because of this, Vijay – who seems to have had an impatient, self-centred character during his days, shows true empathy in this film.
It is a beautiful story, because it’s not just typically about Sri Lanka, but it’s Transatlantic. Everywhere in the world there are people making wrong decisions during their lifetimes, and want to make it up when they are older. The idea behind it is that it’s better to make it up, although it might seem too late. Although the end isn’t as dramatic, Railway Redemption can be seen as the real-life documentary version of ‘The Wrestler’.
Railway Redemption had it’s UK screenings at the Open City Docs and the East End Film Festival the last weeks. You can check out a trailer here.