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DEATH IN THE CITY
Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG
Runtime: 72 min
Produced In: India-Australia co-production
Directed By: Balaka Ghosh
Language: Hindi with English subtitles
"This beautiful, spellbinding film, a weaving of cultural anthropology and visual poetry, explores sacred traditions and rituals as deep and complex as the mystery of death itself. Congratulations, an amazing film!"
- Elizabeth Frank, American author, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
The sacred city of Varanasi, situated on the holy Ganges, 'the river of life', is the revered destination for death for Hindus since time immemorial. With legendary funeral pyres burning non-stop for over three millennia on the river bank, the city's status is founded on the belief that dying in Varanasi breaks the repeated cycle of rebirth.
Filmed across four years, 2018 - 2021, Death in the City is an intimate portrayal of 'The City of Life and Death', its myriad communities who live and work in its ancient streets; including those waiting to die or those working with the dead, along with rare access to the death-worshipping Aghori Saints.
Death in the City is a film in three movements: the spiritual, the metaphysical and the experiential. The most pressured crematorium in the world, Varanasi's relationship with death is at the same time auspicious, spiritual, and industrial.
VIEW TRAILER HERE: vimeo.com/837881261
Director – BALAKA GHOSH
Producers – MAXINE WILLIAMSON, KUMUD RANJAN
Executive Producers – DEFRIM ISAI, STEVE JAGGI
Director of Photography – KUMUD RANJAN
Music – SANTOSH JHA
Editor – DAVID NAPIER
Produced with investment from Screen Queensland
© 2022, Next Story Communication Pty Ltd and Sorry State of Mind Pty Ltd
Adelaide Film Festival, World Premiere
Depth of Field International Film Festival, USA
Asian River Film Festival, Indonesia 2022
Life Beyond Life International Film Festival, Italy, 2023
WINNER of the overall main prize, the Golden Bell Tower Award, at the Sacrae Scenae International FIlm Festival, Italy, October 2023
Excellence Award - Depth of Field International Film Festival, USA
Best Afterlife Research Award - Life Beyond Life International Film Festival, Italy.