Feature documentary about death in Varanasi, India
Directed by: Silvia Fernandez Campos & Beatriz M Calleja
Written by: Silvia Fernandez Campos
Cinematography: Autumn Eakin
Executive Producer: Luis Fernandez Sousa-Faro
Produced by: Silvia Fernandez Campos
Production manager: Vinay Sharman
Film editors: Beatriz M Calleja & Silvia FernandezCampos
Narrator: Michael Morris
Music by: Raga Yaman
Sound editing & mixing: Miguel Calvo “Maiki” & Erik T. Jensen
Color grading: Fran Cóndor Demarquet
Title motion & design: Javier Gómez “Tasio”
Post-production manager: Beatriz M Calleja
How is death perceived and experienced in India? Are Indians truly prepared to accept their own mortality? What can Westerners learn from Indian attitudes toward death?
To explore these questions we must see for ourselves how life and death are lived in Varanasi, the ideal place to die for Hindus. Here Indians pray, bathe and clean their clothes and Karmas in the Holy Ganges River alongside floating dead bodies and the burning corpses in river-side funerary grounds.
This is an invitation to reflect on how human beings deal with the idea of their own mortality by presenting a balanced representation of the issue through cross-cultural examination: The ideas of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker and Terror Management Theory propositions are presented to challenge the idea that Indians in Varanasi have reached a deep acceptance of their own death. We explore whether perhaps some groups have truly reached a deep and subconscious acceptance of their death, such as Indian ascetics. Westerners living in Varanasi are also invited to share their experiences with this unique city’s culture of death.
Regardless of which views you may share this documentary proposes a brighter side of death - where contemplating one’s own death may serve as a wake-up call to live more fully and make the most of our limited time here on earth.@2 years ago