18.58 minutes, Australia/India/UK, 2019
When Saraswati arrives as a newlywed daughter-in-law who is unusually well-educated, she wonders how she will ever feel at home in this high-altitude village. As sceptical older generation of women scorn the work ethic of the younger women, Saraswati grows determined to succeed.
This story of longing and belonging in the sacred landscape of the Indian Himalayas explores what it takes to carve out a home in a remote community. Seen simultaneously through the eyes Saraswati and a village preparing a ten-day festival, the film charts the everyday work and spiritual practices that bind people to each other and the mountains, even as life is changing.
Spirit reveals how belonging is not a given, it cannot be assumed. Rather it is the slow alchemy of work, friendships, love, loss and belief. It shadows the contours of individual lives and is tested by the rapid social change that is transforming mountain areas.
In a final scene of collective euphoria, as villagers celebrate the Pandav Lila festival, Spirit explores how it feels to belong.
Co-Director, Dr Jane Dyson, has been conducting social research in the village for over 17 years. Spirit is a truely collaborative project with villagers and has emerged out of years of conversations, planning and friendship. This is Jane and Ross's second film in the village.
Director(s): Jane Dyson, Ross Harrison