Archive of films The Eye above the Well / Het oog boven de put

1988, 90 min

Section: Johan van der Keuken
Year: 2002

This documentary from Kerala in India initiates the viewer into oriental forms of teaching, handed down over the centuries. But even the rich harmonic rhythms and traditional methods of the Indian countryside have been marred by the destructive unrest of civilisation.


This documentary from Kerala in India introduces Western audiences to Oriental forms of teaching which have been handed down for generations. Perhaps the most eloquent is the “singing lesson” during which the boys adopt the nuances of vocal melodies through their guru, who turns their heads to the right and left in rhythmical movements. Their blood is suffused with melody and rhythm as their bodies adopt various postures. This seemingly inconspicuous spectacle is one of the many variations of the teacher-pupil relationship witnessed in the different methods of teaching dance, martial arts, song, acting and writing. The camera, often positioned on a small boat, sways engagingly to the rhythm of the waves as if it, too, wanted to feel the pulse of the landscape and its inhabitants, a pulse which only becomes tangible through the camera itself. But even these harmonic rhythms which thrive in the Indian countryside, have already been disturbed by the destructive unrest of civilisation....

About the film

Black & white, 16 mm

Section: Johan van der Keuken
Director: Johan van der Keuken
Screenplay: Johan van der Keuken
Dir. of Photography: Johan van der Keuken
Music: K.V.B. Ramana Rao
Editor: Jop Dop, Johan van der Keuken
Producer: Noshka van der Lely, Johan van der Keuken
Production: Lucid Eye Films

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