The Story of Ram


The year is 1984, and the place is Kamalpur, a small town on the banks of the river Ganges. Amolak Ram runs the neighborhood tea stall. But Amolak does more than just serve hot tea and hot gossip; he makes amazing inventions out of objects of everyday use: a television antenna out of an old umbrella, a solar powered pressure cooker, and a homebrewed ham radio, among other things.

A cloud shaped like the Lord Ganesha appears in the sky; tradition says that only good people can see it, and Amolak Ram is one of them. One night while on his ham radio, Amolak chances upon Rajiv Gandhi, a ham enthusiast and the young reluctant Prime Minister of India. Rajiv is thrilled to connect with an ordinary citizen of his country, and declares Amolak his "minister of happiness," depending on Amolak's suggestions to guide his governance. The more Rajiv and Amolak talk, the faster the wheels of officialdom move. Dead phones ring, dark streets are lit, and even the Ganges is cleaned. Amolak Ram’s fame spreads and petitioners line up. It is a friendship that will transform a nation and it will also transform Amolak Ram himself.

As time passes, both Rajiv and Amolak become victims of the old truism that power corrupts. Amolak will slowly give pieces of himself away, until one day when the cloud shaped like Lord Ganesha reappears, and Amolak can’t see it anymore. He cannot even look Chotu, his young son and the window to his conscience, in the eye.

In his quest to return to his true self, Amolak Ram will have to do extraordinary things again, but this time he will have to do them alone. THE STORY OF RAM shows how a common man is profoundly changed by exceptional circumstances; ultimately, it is only through reconnecting to his true self that he finds the means to make genuine change for those around him.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]