Rooting For Roona premiered on 15th October 2020. Directed by award-winning filmmakers Pavitra Chalam and Akshay Shankar, the documentary is 41 minutes long. It is shot over a span of six years and sets itself in rural India in the small town of Jirania Khola, Tripura.
No Parent and No Child Deserves This Pain
“I didn’t think of her as a sick child. I always thought she was really strong to endure so much pain.” -Abdul, Roona’s Father
Rooting for Roona revolves around the lives of newly-weds Fatema and Abdul who, within a year of their marriage, are blessed with a daughter Roona Begum (nicknamed Jannat). Roona was born with a birth defect named Hydrocephalus, which causes brain damage and fluid accumulating in the brain of the individual which leads to enlargening of the head. Being born in a small town with no proper health facilities nearby and poverty were the major reasons why she couldn’t seek out for treatment as soon as she was diagnosed at birth.
In 2013, her story made headlines, people started acknowledging her defect and were ready to help the family and the kid to survive in every possible way. With support from the hospital chain Fortis, Roona underwent various procedures that helped her condition but with just one month left for her final surgery, an unfortunate and heartbreaking event takes place.
Watching Rooting for Roona shows the pain baby Roona goes through and the immense love and support her parents provide her despite people telling them to give her away to an orphanage. Their journey is filled with hope and love and you will sympathize with the family. Additionally, you also, once again, realize the state of the healthcare system and its reach in rural India and how the lack doesn’t always hit the people in the suburbs.
The negligence towards birth defect is one of the major issues on which our government and system do not pay any attention to. According to statistics provided in Rooting for Roona, India accounts for the largest share of birth defects in the world. In a world where children are born with suffering and pain, with a poor healthcare system and negligence from the people in authority, there seems to be a need for dire reforms.
“Roona’s story is as unpredictable as it is inspiring. She beat the odds so often that it became expected of her. In her own gentle way, she made herself heard and now the world will hear her story. I can safely say that an audience will never forget her.”
– Akshay Shankar, Director
Stream It or Skip It
“Rooting For Roona is a love story. Her mother’s love, our love for this little girl, and an army of loved ones who helped us bring this film to Netflix and the world. In the face of terrifying vulnerability and profound loss we have been able to tell a story of hope.” – Pavitra Chalam
STREAM IT! Rooting For Roona is a beautifully-shot documentary over the span of 6 years bringing forth the story of Roona Begum, a fighter, and her parents who would go to any length for her survival and wellness. There is immense hope and love in the documentary and towards the end, you’ll find yourself involved with the family in wishing for Roona’s survival but life is unfair and painful. This is truly a heartwarming and painful documentary.
Rooting For Roona is now streaming on Netflix.
Visit Rooting for Roona‘s official website here.
Read our other reviews here.