Thursday, February 05, 2009

L'Inde fantôme 6: En marge de l'Inde

L'Inde fantôme: Réflexions sur un voyage 6: En marge de l'Inde / Phantom India 6 / Intian päiväkirja 6: Muukalaiset Intiassa. FR 1969. P: NEF / ORTF. D: Louis Malle. 52 min. An AFF / CNC restored print (colour, 16mm blown up to 35mm), with e-subtitles by Lena Talvio, viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 5 Feb 2009. - A brilliant, full-coloured print. Magnificent cinematography.
The Bondo: the oldest inhabitants, mountain-dwellers, hunting with bow and arrow, women with many pendants, ancient weaving patterns, no cattle taboo, no taxes, making of the mud hut, making of brooms, complicated mythology. Wives older than husbands, severe exogamy, divorce common. No alphabet, no names. The common sleeping houses for the young, no sexual restrictions.
The Communist: with red flag, denouncing the officials, the land-owners, the usurers.
The Christians: Christian churches in Kerala, no succcess, in Goa, the Englishmen restrained the missionaries. The Christians of India are fanatic, with a sense of inferiority.
The Jews: the Jews have lived in Cochin since 1900 years, since before the fall of the Second Temple. Simon Coder, merchant. Never persecuted, except during the Portuguese rule. Some came 200 years ago from Baghdad. Very happy in India. Some leave for Israel. But there is something weak and sickly, as a result of strict marriage rules, marriage allowed among Jews only.
Pondicherry, a former French center of commerce. Illumination is ever-present. "I was a chef in over 10 countries, looking for inner peace" (an Italian meditator). Bhagavad Git. A Swedish woman: I was not aware that I have a soul. Aurobindo: a synthesis of yoga. The building of meditation. Ashram: sport. Active, flourishing. Exemption from taxes. Standing on one's head. Celibacy, no smoking, no alcohol. Senior sport. The eldest is 85 years. Comes a day when the human body experiences a change.
Hatha Yoga. Ambu, teacher of hatha yoga. Asanat. Incredible flexibility, a human snake. "I don't practise every day". Hatha = tenacity, stubbornness.
Auroville. A rich Indian businessman. The road to Damascus. The savior of the world.
The Toda. Nilgir Mountains, 2400 m over the sea level. Toda: an ideal society. Sumerians? Descendants from the age of Alexander the Great? No Toda girl is a virgin until 13 years of age. Free love. There is no word for sex. Children don't go to school. Collective poems. Houses out of wood. There is a shortage of women. Absolute sexual freedom. Shepherds, vegetarians, not farmers. No wars, no weapons, no leaders. The buffalo: pure, holy, unique. Men take turns as priests, alone in the temple, with a holy piece of metal. There are 800 Toda. They are the last representatives of a free society.

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