Atman

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • Germany, Finland
    • 1996
    • 76 min
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    In honor of their deceased mother, two Indian brothers set out on a 6,000-kilometer pilgrimage, from the river Ganges to the holy town of Haridwar in the Himalayas. In seven chapters, this account of their journey offers a powerful portrait of religious India. The film centers around the unmarried brother Jamana Lal, a profoundly religious Hindu whose legs have been paralyzed since childhood—a punishment from the gods for evils perpetrated in a previous life, he believes. With Pirjo Honkasalo's camera attentively following him up close throughout the journey, Jamana shares his humble views on life in the voice-over. At a religious festival on the island of Sagar in the Ganges, Jamana meets a woman named Shanta who joins the brothers on their journey. By way of Varanasi they reach Haridwar, where the brothers make a flower sacrifice to their late mother. Jamana and Shanta proceed deeper into the Himalayas to meet an ascetic monk near the source of the Ganges. Ultimately, the couple travels back to Jamana Lal's native village, where he distributes the holy water he has taken from the river among his fellow villagers.

    Credits

    • 76 min
    • color
    • DCP
    Director
    Pirjo Honkasalo
    Production
    Walter Flemmer for ARD/BR, Patrick Hörl for ARD/BR
    Cinematography
    Pirjo Honkasalo
    Editing
    Christine Hafner
    Sound
    Martti Turunen, Mart Kessel-Otsa
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