San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival3rd I



7:30 pm, Sunday, November 13th, Roxie Cinema, San Francisco
Admission: $8
Director: Gayle Ferraro
Country: US/India (2004)
Running Time: 77 mins; DV
In Hindi/English/Nepali w/English Subtitles



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With unparalleled intimacy, beauty and depth, Ganges: River to Heaven, investigates the inextricable bond between a river and its people.

In the "eternal" city of Varanasi, the power of Ganga, the Hindu mother-goddess of the Ganges, is strongest. Each dawn she calls her children to the ghats, the steps leading down to the water's edge. The young and strong purify themselves in Ganga's polluted waters. The old and the infirm, too weak for rituals, wait for death. Once privy only to the dead and those who mourned them, the final journey of the devout Hindu is the subject of, Ganges: River to Heaven. Filmed in a hospice for the dying the film follows four families' struggle to grant a loved one's final wish to go to heaven.

This challenging haunting and evocative documentary takes us from the ghat workers gathering wood for the next cremation to the chemists gathering water samples for contamination testing. Each perspective sheds new light on an evolving society and its unwavering veneration of the Ganges.



Cinema Art Yoga Society

Cheb I Sabbah
Global Exchange
Asian Religions & Cultures, Stanford University