Unni - Life is All About Friends

by Murali Nair, India, 2006
Picture of
The first in a trilogy, 'Life is All About Friends' tells the story of Unni, a young boy from a village in Kerala, and his friends Gopi, Ramu and Raju as they get together at the start of a new school year.

Unni comes from an upper-caste, Nair family. His mother and grandmother, with whom he lives, enforce the strict, orthodox rules Nair's are expected to follow. It's a privileged world, but one that leaves Unni frustrated. Fortunately for him, life outside home is very different.

Led by troublemaker Gopi, Unni gets up to all kinds of mischief at school. Along with Ramu and Raju he is involved in a series of incidents - whether its putting itching powder on his teachers desk, peeping into the girls' toilet to discover why girls squat to pee, or trying to deliver a love letter to the new girl, Sujatha - which teach him about friendship, sorrow, love, and life. Inevitably the boys get into trouble, and though they briefly fall out, they are quick to realise that their friendship is what counts most and that they must stick together. This isn't easy for Unni however, who's mother and teachers strongly disapprove of the influence that lower-caste Gopi seems to have on him.

Like many boys growing up in Kerala, Unni's father works in the Middle East and so he grows up without a male role model to emulate, or to discipline him. When his mother announces therefore that his father will be coming back to visit them, Unni is nervous. An awkward first meeting soon gives way to happiness as Unni plays with the presents his father has brought him. While he is proud to show off his new gifts to his friends, Unni can't help but feel upset for Gopi, who's father is an unemployed, wife-beating drunk.


Original Title
Unni - Life is All About Friends
Unni - Life is All About Friends
Directed by
Murali Nair
Murali Nair
Film Editing
Lalitha Krishna
Narayani Mani, Jishnu Vasu
Jean-Marc Selva
Erwan Autesserre
Patou Films International
83 min.
Sarath Kumark (Unni)

Pro Material

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Press voices

«FĂŒr viele Menschen kommt eine Zeit, wenn sie RĂŒckschau halten und die Kindheit in einem romantischen Licht sehen: Man weiss die wunderschöne Welt zu schĂ€tzen, in der man lebte. Ich musste bis vierzig warten, bis mir das geschah! Jetzt kann ich die Barrieren sehen, die damals bestanden. Damals schien es aber keine zu geben. Unser Leben war von Leichtigkeit geprĂ€gt, und solche Kinderfreundschaften können heute noch in Dörfern beobachtet werden. Stadtkindern geht immer mehr dieses Grundlegende ab, das nötig ist, um echte Freundschaften zu schliessen. Sogar in Kerala, als ich nach Kindern verschiedener Herkunft suchte, kam mir sofort diese spezielle Verbindung in den Sinn, die Dorfkinder haben. Ich benutzte sie fĂŒrs Casting, die Schauspielproben und meine Regie wĂ€hrend der Dreharbeiten.» Murali Nair