Lucky: Here’s another tale of an abandoned boy, a Dickensian odyssey about a 10-year-old Zulu orphan who flees his South African village to seek refuge in Durban after his mother dies of AIDS. Escaping a wicked uncle, he forms an unholy alliance with an elderly Indian woman, whose racist phobia of blacks gradually cedes to compassion. Ever-resourceful, the boy  ricochets through a harsh post-apartheid landscape of violence and prejudice, determined to find his father and get an education. Lovingly shot by British director Avie Luthra, this quiet gem is fired by two superb performances—as the boy, Sihle Dlamini, who’s in virtually every frame, undercuts his beguiling innocence with riveting gravitas; and Jayashree Basavaraj‘s fearful dignity speaks volumes.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.