Frozen

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A despatch from ‘the land of the high passes’ on the Indian Himlayan frontier with Pakistan and China. Chandrabhushan’s film boasts some extraordinary black and white imagery (courtesy of Shanker Raman) of this inhospitable, but beautiful land but its story – of the loss of income and land of  the ageing lone-parent Karma (Denzongpa) and his maturing daughter Lasya (Gauri) and younger son Chomo (Aungchuk) – is less assured. Individual, naturalistic performances are impressive, notably from Denzongpa as the jam-maker who can’t afford the mechanised equipment that is changing the local economy and Aamir Bashir as the Gurkha major who requisitions his land for his army outpost  (although Gauri’s winsome, strong-willed Lasya is unsettlingly self-conscious), and the film catches well the attitude of saddened pragmatism held by the local victims of political conflict and enforced social and cultural change, but as the film progresses its ambit widens and focus blurs as the director’s fascination with  Western ‘anachronisms’ and his affection for modernist, art-movie touches tend to dissipate rather than heighten his film’s central ethnographic commentary and emotional impact.

By: Wally Hammond

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Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Shivajee Chandrabhushan
Cast: Danny Dengzongpa
Gauri
Angchuk