Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vinden och floden (The Wind and the River),1951 by Arne Sucksdorff

sabzaar gulzaar

Vinden och floden (The Wind and the River),1951 by great Swedish filmmaker, Arne Sucksdorff. Based on the life of boat people of Kashmir. Lyrically capturing the songs and images of that life in one of the most beautiful films ever made on Kashmir.


[video link]

Arne Sucksdorff visited India in 1950, it seems with the objective of documenting the life of its working people. Out of this visit came two films: Village Hindou (Hindu Village) about the lack of water in an Indian village, and Vinden och floden (The Wind and the River), about river life of Kashmir.

The film begins with a quote (missing in the extract above) which summarises the vision of the film, "Når de tunge pramme stages op ad Jelum-floden, sker det under en storslået dialog mellem Allah, Mennesket og Skønheden. (When the heavy barges poled up the Jelum River, she does so in a magnificent dialogue between God, Man and beauty.)"

The music of the film, a blend Kashmir folk and India Classical, is by Ravi Shankar, who was yet to attain international acclaim back then. He was working with AIR at the time and probably artists form AIR station Srinagar were used for creating the sounds.

The film begins with scene of a Hindu ascetic mediating atop a hill in Srinagar. Down below, the city is brimming with scenes of lyrical songs of life. A life sustained by a river that quietly flows through it and weaving a web of ecology in which people seem to be at peace. A peace for which people thank their benevolent gods.

It is a way of life that is now almost over. Jhelum has been cleared of its boat people and their 'slums'. [a view from 2014, what the river looks like after the 'cleanup' of boat people]

Winter 2014

-0-
Extracted from 'Uma Vida Dividida' (2001).



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