The Quiet Before the Storm

Now I know how sportsmen feel like just before a world cup final! I’m in that place, between inactivity and activity, between darkness and light, knowing something is going to happen, and even knowing what is going to happen, and just biding my time for it to happen. That inevitability of it all.

Tuesday 5th October, the official starting date of principal photography. For the next two months, I will travel from the far west, to the (far) east, and back to the far west, shooting, and shooting, and talking in Nepali until my tongue falls off my mouth.

It’s the biggest event of my life. It’s like waiting for rain, when you see storm clouds brewing and rolling about in the sky like angry packs of starving dogs looking for a bone – like waiting for rain after a long draught – but I pray it doesn’t rain. Oh please God, no more rain! No more! Just give me a lot of sunshine, and blue skies, for I’m making a film about love, and I want the cheerfulness of the sun, and the brilliance of the colors that’s so evident in these people’s clothes, to shine above the misery, and the agony, and the frustrations that the young people of Nepal find themselves in when they fall in love with someone from another caste.

I haven’t written a thing in this blog for nearly two months. And now I don’t know what to write. Just that I’m waiting, and I know I should be preparing, but I’m at that point where further preparations will not mean much. Oh where I’m afraid to make further preparation.

But what else can I do? Nothing. I’ve done my best. I feel exhausted. I’ve made phone call after phone call, most of the time I’m ignored. Some of the time I’m given false promises. Some of the time they tell me they don’t understand what I’m saying because I don’t know their language, yet the same mouths will be quick to tell me how much I’ve learnt their language in the short time I’ve been here. But yes, there are lots and lots who are willing to speak to my camera. In the words of one of them, “we are people who have been tortured, so we shall speak as much as you want”, and that gives me the courage to dive right into the thick of things and start shooting, and shooting, and shooting.

Two bloody documentaries – well, only one is bloody. The other one is a dance documentary. I will simply start it this time, and finish it later next year. But I think at the end of it, people will always wonder – What was Dilman’s first feature lengh documentary? Untouchable Love? or was it The Sound of One Leg Dancing (maybe that title will change to ThisAbility to Dance, or maybe to The Dance of the ….- the dance of the what?) But I like the first title, only that if I include a blind dancer in it, maybe it will be turned to The Sound of ThisAbility Dancing, or maybe, The sound of one something dancing, or the sound of half a body dancing? Crap!

I better go home.

PS. My gas ran out, and I don’t know how to change the cylinder, so maybe today I’ll sleep hungry. I better get someone to teach me.

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The Pains of Documentary Making
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