The Landscape of Sanatoriums (2023)
Director: Radhamohini Prasad
Runtime: 20 mins
Language: Nepali and English with English subtitles
This experimental video essay explores the space and time of a post-colonial hill station set up by the British as a sanatorium for therapeutic recovery from the heat and humidity of India. Invoking the closing sequences of Ritwik Ghatak’s film, Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-Capped Star) (1960), the film explores how mountains became a metaphor not just for malaise and affliction, but also the human will to survive in the corridors of a creaky healthcare system. Framed through fissures in the dark, derelict walls of a once glorious cinema hall in Darjeeling, the events within turn, hang in liquid suspension. The same landscape becomes a haven for the tourist-turned-environmental-refugee who crawls up the winding mountainside in summer, fleeing the furnace of the Indian plains. But the haven itself is occupied by giant pile drivers pounding steel into the industrial night.
About the Director
Radhamohini Prasad grew up in Kalimpong in the Himalayas, a space that drew many migrations inwards from Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and India. She is a product of two old migrations from Uttar Pradesh and from Okhaldhunga and Ilam in Eastern Nepal. Kalimpong could best be described as a great crossroads of the last century where trade flourished and where many an expedition into Central Asia was launched. Her birthplace and its circumstances have influenced and shaped her work. She studied Digital Video Production at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore in 2008 and was a student at the Sarajevo Film Academy in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017
About Monographs 2023
Monographs is a series of video and text essays on Asian cinema commissioned by the Asian Film Archive (AFA). Monographs offers a critical platform for writers and thinkers to discourse upon the moving image beyond the walls of the cinema. Responding to changing geological and socio-political landscapes, Monographs 2023 explores the tensions between form and formlessness, sound and silence, as landscapes are continually sinking, shifting, stirring.
You can view the video essays part of Monographs 2023 as part of an exhibition at the Oldham Theatre foyer from 26 October – 8 December 2023.