Ma’ Rosa was not the only foreign entry this year to deal with police corruption—not by a long shot. The most powerful of the others is Interrogation, which also portrays one of this year’s other big themes: economic migration.
Pandi and three of his friends from Tamil Nadu have migrated to the city of Guntur in neighboring Andhra Pradesh. They live in a park because they can’t afford housing even though they are working. One day they are arrested for a crime they know nothing about because the local police chief, for political reasons, is under pressure to close the case as opposed to, say, solving it. He makes sure the four innocent Tamils are beaten and tortured until they confess.
Just in the nick of time, an honest cop from Tamil Nadu arrives and helps to get them released and charges dropped…on the condition that they help him with another case he is working on involving a corrupt auditor who needs to be arrested outside Tamil Nadu to avoid implicating higher-ups. Released from jail and brought back to a police station in their home state, three of the four innocents are put to work cleaning the station. But then they witness the murder of the auditor and their situation goes from bad to worse.
All this would seem melodramatic were it not for the fact that the story is inspired by the true case of M Chandrakumar, an auto rickshaw driver who wrote a novel, Lock-Up, based on his experiences more than thirty years after being incarcerated and tortured in Guntur for a crime he knew nothing about.