Outcaste

  • Jonathan Bland
  • Canada
  • 2002
  • 30 min
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance
A simple opening text explains the Sanskrit word mauni: a non-speaking act of penance. The spectator does not need any more information. In the film, not a word is uttered. For one year, Canadian director Jonathan Bland recorded the daily life of a so-called 'untouchable' or dalit in the streets of the Indian city of Rishikesh. Superficially, he is a horribly mutilated homeless man leading a degradingly poor existence. But if you let the images work into your soul, you notice how calm and resolute his routine actions are like ingenious rituals. He is a Mauni Baba: a silent monk. He seems unaware of the camera, or does not care. While busy traffic rushes past, the self-sufficient monk survives with minimal means. In the eyes of God, he may achieve more. Bland lived in India for awhile, studying Buddhism and Hinduism. This film could be read as strange voyeurism but can be best described as a critical homage to a country where exaltation and banality live very close together and gnawing hunger can be deathly silent.

Credits

  • 30 min
  • color
  • video
Director
Jonathan Bland
Production
Jonathan Bland for Frontier Films CA
Cinematography
Jonathan Bland
Editing
Jonathan Bland
Sound
Jonathan Bland

IDFA history

2003
Screened
IDFA Competition for First Appearance
2003

IDFA Competition for First Appearance

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