Shot exclusively in the small space of a cable car, Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez's Manakamana is a unique, and quite frankly mesmerizing documentary. Similar to some of Andy Warhol's films, Manakmana attempts to capture life itself as it observes the various pilgrims as they make the journey high above the jungle in Nepal to the ancient mountaintop temple. Compromised of 11 seperate rides, Manakamana is basically the definition of an art film, in documentary form, a film that is bound to test the patience of some viewers but for those willing, it offers a rich sensory experience that invigorates the viewer's imagination as to the past, present, and future of the indivduals making up the film. The various individuals captured throughout Manakamana come from all different walks of life, ranging from young boy's to old women, yet Manakamana captures how similiar they are on this journey through their observations, body language, and conversations. There are lots of interesting observations to be made in Manakamana but the central ideal seems to revolve around presenting a country in transition, going from ancient tradition to modernity and how the film juxtaposes this ideal is truly fascinating. Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez's Manakamana is a tender, poignant film which presents a window into the world of a group of strangers with fascinating results.
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