Thoughts on Rebello (2009), Short Film by Chetan Raghuram

Ever since I stumbled upon FilmDoo (Doo is Thai for to watch or see), I’ve been discovering more and more beautiful films. Sure, some are short but I’m 100% sure you haven’t seen them. Well, unless you constantly attend film festivals or follow news about upcoming independent films then you probably know and seen most of their selection.

But since I am only able to watch on certain weekends, I am happy with FilmDoo’s selections one of which is the 8-minute film “Rebello” (2009).


An 8-year-old boy finds himself alone and vulnerable in the city. Escaping his abusive mother and a world of poverty, he’s faced with problems that just might be more troublesome than what he’s running from.

The Film

I’m not familiar with “Rebello” and the creator so I did a little research and found his Instagram and YouTube channel. It says there that “Rebello” was selected and screened at different festivals from 2009 to 2012. Plus, “Rebello” won the Best Thesis Film award, March 2009 at the International Academy of Film and Television (Philippines) and the Vladana Terčová Award, October 2009 at the International Student Film Festival of Pisek (Czech Republic).

The Best Thesis Film really caught my attention. Since it’s free to watch on FilmDoo, I grabbed the chance and now here are my thoughts!

The Review

The film starts with a montage of different bodies of water – dark and unclean. As the clips continue, you see insufficient living areas and the faces of people who live here. Then it cuts to a small boy dragging a big pail towards the line of people waiting for their turn to get water from a tap.

I’m 100% sure it’s the only tap that has water. Several areas in the country don’t have enough water supply. If there is a rotating brownout, there is also a thing called rotating water service interruption. Moreover, there is also a case of poor water distribution in slum areas.

The way I see it, water in this film symbolises the flow of life. It can be dark and muddy but can eventually become clean once you do something about it. Sadly, life hasn’t been too kind to our protagonist. This young boy can’t enjoy his childhood and is constantly being abused by his mother.

But one night when his mother chained him outside their home, the boy managed to revolt and ran away. Yes, he became even more vulnerable but at least he was able to remove one muddy part of his life.

As a viewer, all I can do is hope he finds someone who will take care of him and teach him how to live properly. I know the world lacks a lot of good things. But I just hope kids like him stumble into cleaner water before their young mind is corrupted.

Also, I know people are aware of this part of the world. But I can only hope people with means and power clearly see what is presented in this film and do something about it. Every human deserves something better.

Rebellō:(intransitive) I renew war, I wage war again.

(intransitive) I revolt.

“Rebello” (2009) 7/10 IMDB

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