Upcoming Shows

We've been named as a official selection in the Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour, March 17-24.

Shows are in Hapeville, GA 3/17, Madison, GA 3/20, Orangeburg, SC 3/22, Gainsville, GA 3/23, and Manteo, NC 3/24.
Learn more by going to the SouthArts blog.

View the theatrical trailer for A Gift for the Village

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23, from Jane

Hi Friends, We are back in Kathmandu, safe, sound, amazed. Thanks for the great comments and responses here and on facebook. Thanks for caring where we are.

We woke at 4:30 in our Dancing Yak bedrooms in Tsampa's home, to learn that Narayan, our guide and friend, had gotten a call at 2 a.m. that his second child, a little boy, had been born, in Gurkha, in central Nepal. We knew about his birth before the grandparents: Narayan's parents don't have a phone. It will take some time for a village friend to take the news to them. Narayan has asked me to give his son one American name, to go with his Nepali names. This Gurkha boy will carry the name Emerson.

We had sweet tea, carried our backpacks downstairs, and waited to see if any flights were able to penetrate the woolen clouds that hang so thickly during all of Nepal's monsoon season. Mostly, for days and days, no flights have been able to come in or out of Jomsom's tiny airstrip. But today--flights.

I could not believe our fortune.

We flew, and the flight was one of the most spectacular treats I have ever enjoyed, and not just because I knew we were avoiding the rain, the mud, the uncertainties of moving with our baggage downtrail, through waterfalls and grungy flood-prone river-villages.

We flew over the land before time, close to the tops of dozens of green bulging mountains, over tiger and python jungle. Slivers and nicks of white, as we approached, grew into tremendous waterfalls, dozens of them, and overarching the verdure were the breathtaking granite-faced Annapurna goddesses, the 26,000-foot snow-faced immortals. We flew easily and calmly through dawn-colored clouds and over villages too small to have names.

I remembered the scene near the end of David Lean's beautiful film adaptation of E. M. Forster's great novel, A Passage to India, when Dr. Fielding and Stella stop the car just to stand and look up at the closeness and the enormity of the Kashmiri Himalayas. They can say nothing in response to the magnitude of these things. Only Maurice Jarre's score can speak the emotions of being near the Himalayas. Not being crushed by them seems so improbable, so generous. The mountains feel bigger than concepts which remain theoretical, bigger than the universe, bigger than eternity.

And then we landed in Pokhara, a world aways from western Nepal, and then we got our next flight to Kathmandu, and before noon, we were all seated at Pilgrim's, waiting for our masala dosas and palak paneer and buttered naan and fried rice. We are in culture-warp shock, for the flights to have worked, and to have catapulted us back to Kathmandu so flawlessly. Just days ago we were having audience with a King in a faraway medieval palace.

To celebrate our safe return to Kathmandu, I ordered a dozen peanut sticks from the German Bakery, which will be ready tomorrow. They are not unlike biscotti, not too sweet, not as good as my friends the Passalacquas have made, but pretty damned wonderful, cinnamon and peanut. Which reminds me: Carol Fox, I am scandalized that you want to join the pack of chocolate-carnivores and that you lust in sympathy with my team, for those deep-fried Snickers. (Thanks for the great comment, Carol! We miss you and Joe.)

Tonight maybe we will apportion certain topics for each of our team members to write about, but for now, hot showers, laundry, food choices, the greatest bookstore in Asia--just next door to the Kathmandu Guest House, publicity for our film ("Madame, I have read about your team and your film in our newspapers"), and an upcoming dinner with the American Ambassador, to show him A Gift for the Village.

I am so proud of our team, and of our film. We are really looking forward to our American premiere at The Taubman Museum in Roanoke on September 16th. Please plan to join us that evening. And sometime before that premiere, I have the honor of giving a Lunchbox (midday) Talk at the Taubman Museum. I think I have been given 45 minutes. My Virginia Tech students will smile to think of Ms. Vance trying to condense ANYTHING into that brief slot.

Much love from all of us, back in the crazy city. I love this crazy city. Jane


Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

Ah, so glad to hear that your flights could be scheduled between the threatening monsoon clouds. Thanks so much for the summary, Jane. It's so good to hear from you all again and I can't wait for more stories.
Happy birthday to my symmetrical birthday friend (even though in eastern standard time there are still some hours to go). I hope your day is special and grand.
Big hugs to everyone there--I miss you!