Synopsis by Dan Pavlides
This documentary - edited from the rushes of the longer Phantom India - shows the various stations of life and death in Calcutta, India. From the wealthy aristocrats to the lepers and untouchables, the life stories are as varied as the city's 8 million plus people. The grimy waterfront port is overlooked by fabulous temples. Sacred cows travel freely and step over the lowest caste untouchables and the bodies of peasants who have starved to death. Religious ceremonies and everyday business transactions are also shown. A woman's body is ceremonially torched on a funeral alter placed atop kindling and logs for cremation. Modern mechanics collide with manual labor as unskilled laborers grow increasingly dependent on charity to survive. From disease-riddled slums, to homes of the fabulously wealthy, Calcutta is a city of color, contrast, and an ever-growing population that could easily double or triple in 10 years.
aristocracy, big-city, caste-system, India (subcontinent), slice-of-life, slums