I didn’t know that rivers could die and comes back to life. Like many friends around me, I alos thought that the ecological disaster was inevitable. Then, one day in India, I met Rajendra Singh, the man who transformed a desert into a prosperous and sustainable territory, where even tigers came back. Here’s the beginning of the movie…
« Transform a human and ecological desert into a prosperous and sustainable territory in Beekhampura was the crazy bet of a man and today, it has become a collective exemple for all. » this is how our documentary starts.
In 1985, a young medecin named Rajendra Singh, settle in the small village of Beekhapura in Rajasthan and notice that a strange evil is rampant. Many people suffer from night-blindness and the link with malnutrition is undoubtable. Drough has destroyed soils for a long time and as many places in India, young generations have migrated to the city. It is a human and environmental desert. On day an old man gives him a precious advice. « If you really want to heal people, you should start to find a treatment for the village itself ».
30 years later, the food chain is restaured, the tigers themselves are back, life is prosperous and human communities are reconstitued, to the point that, exceptionnaly, the rural exodus is reversed.
…it’s also our story
« The solution to the problems is to find in the heart of where to problems are »
This maxim tha Gandhi sometimes pronouned to illustrate the democratic ambitions of India i well known by Rajasthani people. As simple as it seems, it brings an answer to complex questions, that arise both in Beekhampura and elsewhere. Can we still invent a form of flourishing social organisation based on both ecological resilience and emancipation ? And if so, how ?
If water is a good and a common issue, we need to show how a solitary initiative became powerful social dynamic.
What you’ll see
During my first trip, I collected informations and images. This is how I could record and edit the snippet you can watch here. It also helped me to understand the aesthetic approchaf of the film, wich will be based on a series of portraits of the « water warriors », including Rajendra. And then, because the beauty of our subject comes from nature itself, I want to show the power of its colours : the deep blue of the water, the string green of the plants, and the pale yellow of the sand in the deserts around. We need to organize a second expedition with more time and the help of a team for sound recording. We want to show the collectif dynamic from wich the dream came true and understand how it set up.
What we ofter
Publication, screening, conferences, workshop and of course the film itself ! Years of practice helped us to develop a craftsmanship that we want to develop in favor of a process that will make sense. The social and ecological trheat that we are experiencing on a global scale, generates great uncertainties. Can we resist the fatality? How to act? This is how we decided to stat this project, to finish the film and bring the debate. The aim of this film is twofold: not only to sensitize the public to the ecological question, but also to share a joyful and mobilizing vision of the collective action. The experience led by Rajendra Singh demonstrates that the collective reappropriation of a social issue can be a source of unprecedented, life-saving and joyful solutions.
So this crowdfunding campaign is an essential tool for subscription. We want to make a beautiful movie but also propose a generous project, a sharing process dedicated to a public reflection. This is why « Resurrecting the rivers » is not only a film project, but also a social project. We want to build relationships, talk about the social and ecological issue, connect people and associations, provoke meetings, debates and workshops that will helps new utopian dynamics to emerge.
To carry this project we plan to go there in february and september 2020. Take time to stay and shoot in Beekhampura will help us to show the work accomplished by people there. We wish to work with contributors and friends their to make interviews in Hindi and translate, so people can tell their stories with their own words.
Our 6000 euros goal will help us to
Go back there
Work with a local team
To cover the costs for equipment
To cover publishing costs
Who we are
PHD researcher in visual sociology, I practice cinema since fifteen years. I make films and color-grading especially. The question of emancipation inin all its forms, from the ecologist activists to the worldwide punk scene, is in the heart of my reflection. As a lecturer and filmakern I can propose a screening of the movie with conferences dedicated to the theme of social and ecological organization, especially about the issue of the water cycle.
After studying law and political science, Leïla is develops her skills in sound recording and the production of sound documentaries for an international radio. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in visual sociology, between the University of Evry and Cordoba. Specialized in the study social movements, Leïla has been working on the effects of the Indignados movement in Spain since 2011 especially her institutional reconfiguration through the “town halls of change” inspired by municipalism. In addition to her research work in the social sciences, she develops a multimedia PHD. In 2019, she organizes an interactive photographic exhibition dedicated to pro-democracy social movements around the world. For this project, she hopes to contribute as much to the sound quality of the film as to the diffusion of her emancipatory and ecological experiences.