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Louis Malle - L'Inde Fantome (Phantom India)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:43 pm
by kas
Let's put this here next to Chris's entry on etnographic pictures from India: in 1968 - 1969 Louis Malle made a travel documentary series for French TV, depicting various aspects of life in different parts of South Asia. One part, depicting Calcutta, was expanded for cinemas.
Indian government strongly disliked Malle's portrayal, which concentrated on the pre-modern India, its rituals and festivities. Apparently Indian government banned BBC from filming in India for a number of years. That seems unlikely to me though, and in any case it fell wide off the mark, Malle and his series being French. Malle himself has been quoted saying the series was his favourite among all of his work.

It all starts here (the uploader Calicocentric has them all on his channel):

The only downside: most of the dialogue in French, no subtitles. But a fascinating look at the "country" (subcontinent is so much closer to the experience) at a time already passed. Mostly: much less cars and autorickshaws and the trappings of westerner lifestyle, but there is stuff there that looks much like what I have seen myself, like on episode four, which concentrates on Kerala.