Nepali Times
Documentary retrospective

Film South Asia is staging a special screening of some of the best Nepali documentaries from the past 20 years that it has been conducting film festivals. The two-day event on 27-28 August at the Yala Maya Kendra in Patan Dhoka will include evergreen hits like Tsering Rhitar's The Spirit Doesn't Come Anymore to Kiran K Shrestha's Bheda ko Oon Jasto. All films have English subtitles. Directors will be on hand for a Q & A discussion. Tickets Rs 30.

August 27, 2011

The Spirit Doesn't Come Anymore
Tsering Rhitar, 1997, 38 min

The practice of shamans invoking spirits/protectors to ward off evil and cure disease has been a significant feature of Tibetan social life for over a millennium. Considered an inborn faculty that needs only awakening, and channeling, the shaman's art survives through his son or daughter. 78-year old spiritual medium, Pao Wangchuk, is trying to pass on this tradition to his son Karma. A deep conflict occurs when Karma refuses to carry on the line of work that has been an unbroken family tradition for thirteen generations.

A Rough Cut on the Life and Times of Lachuman Magar
Dinesh Deokota, 2001, 39 min

Lachuman Magar has led a colourful life. At the age of 58, he still has a strong affinity for the opposite sex. He has charmed them, cajoled them, and, more often than not, betrayed them. Today Lachuman's life has come full circle and he has had to forsake a great deal for one woman. This is his story as only he can tell it.

The Living of Jogimara
Mohan Mainali, 2002, 38 min

In early 2002, 17 construction workers from Jogimara, Dhading were killed by the Nepali army while building a runway in another district, Kalikot. They were branded 'terrorists' by the state, and their families did not get their dead bodies or any compensation. Some families have conducted last rites for their loved one; others wait, hoping their relatives will return.

Behda Ko Oon Jasto (In Search of a Song)
Kiran K. Shrestha, 2003, 67 min

Narayan Wagle is one of Nepal's best-known journalists. But for eight years he would sing a folk song he'd heard in the highlands north of Kathmandu, Bhedako Oon Jasto, to his friends, to strangers, to singers and musicians. No one knew it. Wagle travelled up the Langtang Valley, from rhododendron fields in Nepal's midhills to a frozen lake, with members of the popular Nepali band Nepathya and his friend, the filmmaker, to search for the source of this song.

August 28, 2011

Itihaas Jitne Haru Ko Laagi (History for Winners)
dir. Pranay Limbu, 2003, 67 min

Itihaas Jitneharuka Laagi portrays the changes in the Nepali music scene, as represented by Kuber Rai and Dheeraj Rai. The two singers are a study in contrasts, with their diametrically opposing personalities and attitude towards music. The film invokes a Nepali adage "bolne ko pitho bikcha, na bolne ko chaamal pani bikdaina", which suggests that to succeed one has to be a good salesman.

Team Nepal
Girish Giri, 2005, 37 min

The story of a passionate team of Nepali footballers representing a youth club from the district of Birgunj. This team is given a unique opportunity not often granted to the still-growing community of Nepali football enthusiasts to travel to Sonpur, Bihar in India, to play football in a tournament taking place there. Team Nepal is the documentation of their experiences in Bihar, travelling, meeting and mixing with other footballers, living in a foreign country, and playing the game they love.

A Life with Slate
Dipesh Kharel, 2006, 50 min

In a mountain village east of Kathmandu, the harsh lives of Thami slate-miners take on almost poetic dimensions. A Life with Slate emphasises how cooperation between the labouring families ultimately makes a tough life bearable, and depicts intimate scenes of the village life.

Hami Kunako Manche (We Corner People)
Kesang Tseten, 2007, 50 min

An at-times haunting look at a village in Rasuwa District, north of Kathmandu, in ravines beyond which no settlement lies. Villagers walk four hours just to buy chilli or salt, or to sell their bamboo weavings, their only means of cash income. Now, a bridge comes to the village, addressing longstanding fears about the rushing torrent below. How else will their lives change?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)