Nov 22, 2015

Reflections on castaway man

Today I went to watch Kesang Tseten's Castaway Man.
 Let me start by saying that it's a very well made film. Not a single moment bores you. But that maybe also because I as a Nepali am interested in the celebrity academician Dor Bahadur Bista. I liked ho clearly the movie presented Bista's life and work, and put his theories, condensed, out for the audience's immediate understanding. The aforesaid theory, which presents "Bahunband" as the big villain of Nepal. I do not agree with completely, though I too detest Bahunbad as a hindrance to my own life (and many other things, but mostly the lives of Bahun women). However, to link fatalism to lack of development seems already fatalistic (pardon the pun). because many other countries are fatalistic, and the entire Muslim that puts everything in the hands of God with an "Inshallah" is fatalistic. but that did not stop them from developing. The movie ignore this in its relentless badgering of bahunbad. When Bista says that Bahunbad is a system that only benefits a few people, and is not even followed or endorsed by the rest of the people, he strikes home, but when he makes it responsible for all the evils of this country, not so much, because social stratification and inequality are a part of every society, bot just bahunbad. The film brings up footage of several unidentified individuals whose passive acceptance of their place in the caste hierarchy is highlighted - in an effort by the filmmaker to prove his point that bahunband is what is "keeping them down" in their own words. But then, social stratification and the lack of means to break this,  lack of upward social mobility, is a vast, vast problem even in the most non fatalistic and developed societies. I found it very annoying that these bits and pieces of people who were bashing bahunbad were spread throughout the movie - it was as if the film's main aim was not to present Mr Bista but to prove that his theories were true. why not let time prove it? 


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