Ama Khando (2019)

 ●  Nepali ● 1 hr 39 mins

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A single-mother treks over rugged mountains, along with a family of winter migrants, on a journey to give up her only son to foster care. Khando is 26 years old, impoverished and illiterate, toiling the harvest away in other people’s farms in exchange for buckwheat to feed her seven-year-old son Dhondup. Khando’s long working hours, often in other villages, means that she has to leave Dhondup unsupervised for much of the day, and the boy bunks off the village school to grow up wild on the mountains. Fearing that he will end up uneducated like her, Khando looks for a benefactor to give him a better upbringing than she can afford. When the village monk finds a potential guardian in the city, Khando joins a family of winter migrants on an arduous trek to lower altitudes to give up the unsuspecting Dhondup to foster care. The journey is fraught with incident, as characters from a cross-section of the remote mountain community interact with each other. Each leg of the journey adds intrigue to the story as differences surface and conflicts have to be negotiated. Based on real-life experiences, the heart of the story is a young woman’s struggle to give up her only family, even as every day brings takes her closer to fateful day when she must execute the painful decision.
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