Himalayan Monogatari

Documentary 34 mins.video. Japanese with English subtitles

A documentary on the physical and human landscape between the valleys of Kashmir and Ladakh, India. Encounter gods and demons, mystic mountains and lakes, contemporary fact and fiction in this journey through the Himalayas- accompanied by a genteel Japanese voice-of-godess.

Structured as a televised 'serial' the film welcomes you back to another episode of Himalayan Tales, recapping the previous episode. What follows are a series of short vignettes that take you from Srinagar to Pahalgam, up the mountain route of the Amarnath Yatra, onwards to Kargil and Ladakh, the Nubra Valley and the great lakes Tso-mo-ri-ri and Tso-kar through recounting of tales and legends. The film ends in the 'pure' Aryan village of Da-hanu in Batalik, with a promise of more in the next episode.
This simple structure and the use of Voice-of-God(dess) narration, with its naive and truncated sweeps across complex histories and civilisations, its calm and soothing belief in myth and beauty, and ultimately its reading as fact, all coupled with the slight and deliberate shifts in 'gaze' underlying the films progression allow for a meditative and transparent examinaton of documentary itself.

This no-budget film was made using personal footage from travels in Kashmir and some footage borrowed from Saeed Mirza Productions, "a tryst with the people of India "- a docu series made in 1997, of which
Shaina Anand was first asst. director.

Camera, editing, direction: Shaina Anand
Assosicate director: Ashok Sukumaran
Japanese translation and Voice: Reiko Sukumaran
Additional Photography, Rajendra Jangle, Setu Panday, Ashok Sukumaran.
Footage: Chitrakarkhana Mumbai, Saeed Akhtar Mirza Productions.
Thanks: Parvez Dewan, Norbuk Lama, Gaurav Chandelya. Jennifer and Saeed Mirza.

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