In Peshawar, six-year-old Farooq (Sartaj Kakkar) wants a new school bag for his birthday the next day. He requests his mother (played by Rasika Dugal), then begs, then orders and finally threatens to bunk school if he doesn’t get the bag. The mother does not relent.

The morning arrives and an angry Farooq refuses to greet his mother. He finds a bag on the bed. Farooq is elated that his dream has come true. His mother is indeed the best. The narrative is predictable enough, and you are inclined to expect the worst. Yet, the Large Short Films production, directed by Dhiraj Jindal, strikes at the heart. The performances, by Dugal and Kakkar, are shattering.

The School Bag (2017).