In the Forest Hangs a Bridge

Director: Sanjay Kak
English (subtitled), 39 min, 1999, India
A film about the building of a thousand foot suspension bridge of cane and bamboo in India's north-east, an evocation of the tribal community that makes it possible, and a reflection on the strength 'and fragility ' of the idea of community.
In the Forest Hangs a Bridge
A still from In the Forest Hangs a Bridge

Located deep in the forested hills of the Siang valley of Arunachal Pradesh, at the north-eastern extremity of India, Damro village gathers to build a 1000 foot long suspension bridge, the elegant structures of cane and bamboo, that are the distinctive mark of the Adi tribe. Their only tool is the dao, a blade length of tempered steel, the size of a machete.

Producer: Octave Communications
Director: Sanjay Kak
Camera: Ranjan Palit
Script: Sanjay Kak
Editing: Reena Mohan
Sound: Suresh Rajamani
Music: Susmit Sen
  • Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus) Best non-fiction film & Best Cinematography (Ranjan Palit), Best Editing (Reena Mohan) National Film Awards, 1999, India
  • Asian Gaze Award, Pusan Asian Short Film Festival, 2000
About the Director:

Sanjay Kak is a self-taught independent documentary film-maker whose recent work reflects his interests in ecology, alternatives and resistance politics. His films include Red Ant Dream (2013) about the persistence of the revolutionary ideal in India, Jashn-e-Azadi (How we celebrate freedom, 2007) about the idea of freedom in Kashmir, Words on Water (2002) about the struggle against the Narmada dams in central India, and In the forest hangs a bridge (1999), about the making of a thousand foot bridge of cane and bamboo in north east India.

His films also include One Weapon (1997), a video about democracy in the 50th year of Indian independence, and twinned films on the theme of migration, looking at people of Indian origin in the fringes of the city of London in This Land, My Land, Eng-Land! (1993) and in post-apartheid South Africa in A House and a Home (1993), as well as Cambodia: Angkor Remembered (1990), a reflection on the monument and its place in Khmer society.

In 2008 he participated in the Manifesta7, the European Biennale of Art, in Bolzano, Italy, with the installation A Shrine to the Future: The memory of a hill, about the mining of bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa.

Posted by Magic Lantern Movies LLP on February 2, 2014
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