DIPESH KHAREL, FRODE STORAAS

A KALI TEMPLE INSIDE OUT

Nepal/Japan/Norway 2018 • 83 min

Producer: University Museum of Bergen (Norway) / Media Help Line (Nepal)
Country of shooting: India

Religious boundaries are not necessarily as sharp and antagonistic as the news media lead us to believe. This film shows the everyday life inside and around a Kali temple in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple building houses a Kali shrine and a smaller Hanuman shrine, and visitors to the site present offerings in both. Through a closer presentation of a priest and three devotees, the film shows why this temple is so important to them. Yet they also occasionally visit holy places of other religious traditions, whether to learn or seek additional divine support. The film is thus a silent critique against the obsession with religious conflict in contemporary debates. “God is one, the religions are made by humans,” as the priest concludes in the film.

Dipesh Kharel is a visual ethnographer and filmmaker and has a post-doctoral fellowship at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. He has already produced several award-wining ethnographic films, notably A Life with Slate (2006), Playing with Nan (2012) and Tama Gaun (2015), which have been screened at more than 60 international film festivals around the world and won several prizes.

Frode Storaas is a professor in visual anthropology at the University Museum of Bergen, Norway. His research has mainly focused on fieldwork in East Africa. As a filmmaker, he has worked in several countries. Among his award-winning films are Tama Gaun – the Copper Village (together) with Dipesh Kharel), Making Rain (together with Liivo Niglas), Our Courtyard (together with He Yuan Wang), and Fish On! (together with Liivo Niglas).