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March 29

Manakamana by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez

Presented in conjunction with the Film Study Center, Harvard, with support from the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities.

$12 Special Event Tickets
Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez in person

Sunday March 29 at 7pm


Directed by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez
Nepal/US 2013, DCP, color, 118 min. Nepali and English with English subtitles

The formal structure of Manakamana is easily described: passengers in an aerial tramway are filmed for the length of the trip from one end to the other. What is miraculous about the film is the way this simple structure is used to create a cinematic experience that is both challenging and intensely pleasurable. The tramway in question is found in Nepal, where it ascends to an ancient mountaintop temple to the goddess of wish-fulfillment whose name gives the film its title. Manakamana grew out of the many years Stephanie Spray has spent living and filming in Nepal, and her collaboration with Pacho Velez, some of whose previous documentary work screened at the HFA in 2011. After meeting at Harvard’s Film Study Center, the two set off for Nepal with the same 16mm camera Robert Gardner used to shoot Forest of Bliss. Manakamana is a brilliant mash-up of early cinema, ethnographic film and Warhol’s screen tests.

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