Power cables fill the sky over the streets of Kanpur, a city in India with three million inhabitants. It's an intricate tousle of wires, both legal and illegal – the latter strung up by locals. They get their own men in for the job, because the "power company people never showed up." One of those men is Loha Singh. He's a true "katiyabaaz," an Indian Robin Hood of electricity. "Who doesn’t know him?" the owner of a sewing studio says. "Thanks to him we can run our shops. He's like a hero from the movies!" And the film demonstrates that the storekeepers depend on the katiyabaaz's services. There are power outages – long ones – and a 16-hour day without power is a common occurrence. "By the light of a half-lit lamp lies all of Kanpur City," sings a voice at the beginning of the documentary. A new govornment official at Kesco – the first woman to take on this position at the power company – has ambitious plans. She starts a war on the illegal taps and tries to change the system by carrying out raids. The power supply becomes part of a political campaign. Will things change this time?
IDFA Bertha Fund
Fahad Mustafa, Deepti Kakkar
Fahad Mustafa for Globalistan Films, Deepti Kakkar for Globalistan Films