23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
The End and the Means
Massage, doing the laundry, grazing water buffalo, snake charmers, street jugglers and dentists, music and dance lessons. Through his humble contemplation on various expressions of people’s devotion to their work, Paweł Wojtasik shows the web of human activities that each have their fixed place within India’s caste society. Work is not a path out of poverty or towards wealth, but a form of Hindu meditation on the roots of human activity and established working techniques and rituals. Man is a machine controlled by a higher power. This observational documentary, filmed primarily in India’s oldest city, Varanasi, focuses on the sacred Ganges River as a source of all human endeavours.
„I wanted to investigate the Indian idea that work can lead to liberation rather than alienation. As a film worker myself, I learned from the people I filmed – to be present with the whole body and mind.“ P. Wojtasik
Polish-born video artist and documentarian Paweł Wojtasik (1952) studied painting at Yale, and today lives and works in New York. He has created numerous award-winning films and installations (Berlinale, Locarno), and spent two years in a Buddhist monastery. The End and the Means was created in collaboration with editor Narimane Mari and sound engineer Ernst Karel.
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