- Films 2015 - India - Valley of Saints
Films 2015 - India - Valley of Saints
Valley of Saints
Director: Musa Syeed (US), 2012
82 minutes – India/USA
Sundance site description: Widely considered to be the crown jewel of Kashmir, Dal Lake is a sprawling aquatic community where erupting political violence often distracts from the natural beauty. Gulzar, a young, working-class boatman, plans to skip town with his best friend in search of a better life, but a weeklong military curfew derails their departure. Forced to wait it out, Gulzar takes a job assisting a pretty scientist named Asifa. As they navigate the floating landscape, collecting water samples for an environmental study, an unlikely relationship blossoms between the two. When Asifa’s research reveals harmful pollutants, Gulzar realizes that the ecology of the lake and an entire way of life face an alarming threat, and everything in his own life begins to take on a new hue. Lush cinematography heightens the region’s visual splendor in this enlightening feature debut from Musa Syeed. Intricately weaving contemporary issues with traditional culture and ancient myths, Valley of Saints is a vibrant, lyrical film about finding one’s path home in a changing world.
NY TIMES: "At the 2012 Sundance festival, "Valley of Saints," an entry from India and the United States, won the World Cinema Audience Award in the Dramatic category. …The Sundance jury praised the film for its “brave, poetic and visually arresting evocation of a beautiful but troubled region, and for its moving, nuanced and accurate depiction of the relationship between a local boatman and a young woman scientist whose research challenges the status quo and offers hope for a restored ecosystem."