At Screen Southasia, we host monthly online screenings of compelling documentaries from the region, including Nepal, India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka. We present a diverse range of films, both classic and new, that showcase the unique cultures, histories and perspectives of Southasia. Screen Southasia is a partnership between Himal Southasian and Film Southasia. For updates on future screenings and Q&A sessions, sign up here.
In our first Screen Southasia Q&A session, recorded on 3 April 2023, we speak with the filmmaker Kesang Tseten, to discuss his 2006 documentary ‘Hami Kunako Manche’ (We Corner People).
Film synopsis: This is a story of a village in Rasuwa District, north of Kathmandu – in ravines beyond which no settlement lies. The inhabitants call themselves people placed at the corner: their backs against the wall, without electricity, roads, health posts, and lacking even a single shop. Villagers walk four hours just to buy chilli or salt, or to sell their bamboo weavings, their only means of cash income. Now, a bridge comes to the village, addressing longstanding fears about the rushing torrent below. How will their lives change?
The full discussion is now available on Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
This is a machine-generated transcript of the event and may contain inaccuracies. For exactness, please refer to the recording.
Sana Amir: Thank you everyone for joining us. I’m Sana Amir, multimedia editor of Himal Southasian. I’m joined by Alok Adhikari, assistant director of Film Southasia, and of course, Kesang Tseten, the director of ‘Hami Kunako Manche’.
Before we start, I would like our editor, Roman Gautam, to give a brief introduction about our Screen Southasia event. Over to you, Roman.
Roman Gautam: Thank you so much, Sana. I know that we are keeping things very brief today, and I’m going to stay in that spirit as well. I want to start by saying, Kesang, thank you so much for agreeing to be here today. We’re so excited to get Screen Southasia rolling and to be working with Film Southasia. So, thank you to Alok as well.
I am really, like everyone else who’s joining here today, a fan of Kesang Tseten. I’ve watched all of his films until this one, and I think this was the last one on my list, so I’m glad that I got to watch this one too. So I am also just a viewer and someone who’s here to learn and to be part of this wonderful thing. I want to say a big, big thank you to Film Southasia. Alok, Mitu – I think who’s not here, but has been there behind the scenes, Sana, who’s done all the hard work on our side, and the Himal team behind the scenes putting together just this online event. Thank you so much, guys. Kesang Ji, thank you so much once again. I’ll hand it right back over to you guys.
Alok Adhikari: Thank you, Roman. I will quickly give an introduction of Kesang Tseten, who in many ways needs no introductions. Kesang Tseten is a Nepali documentary filmmaker whose films have been screened regularly in international film festivals around the world. And in the last two decades that this has happened, he has also regularly screened with us at Film Southasia and his films are some of those films that are really cherished by the Nepali audience and the audience that physically attends Film Southasia every other year. Kesang has won multiple awards for his films and they have gone to major festivals around the world. His award-winning film, ‘Who Will Be a Gurkha’ was selected for IDFA’s feature-length competition, aired on Al Jazeera, and theatre release in Nepal as well. The film follows migrant workers in the Gulf states and really gives the audience a look into the realities of migrant workers. And this is something Kesan has worked a lot on. Something we will talk a little bit about later on.
He has won many grants from Busan, IDFA and Sundance as well. Today’s film, Hami Kunako Manche, was made in 2006 and screened at FSA in 2007. And it is again one of the most beloved Nepali documentary films in the last two decades, in my opinion. So we are so happy to have Kesang with us today. Thank you once again, Kesang Ji. I will pass over to Sana to start with the questions.
Sana Amir: Thank you everybody for joining us. So we will start with the first question. Kesang, what inspired you to make this film and how did you find this village?
Kesang Tseten: Thank you to everybody for organising this and all the kind words. Actually, like a lot of my films, they don’t have a very dramatic provenance. I was asked to make a film about a bridge by Helvetas, and I thought, okay, it’s an NGO assignment, they’ve built 3000 bridges.
What’s interesting is, like journalists, I think a documentary filmmaker is always looking for a subject that, before you start, it stands out in some way. There’s something dramatic about it. It’s the tallest, it’s the craziest, or whatever. But there was nothing about this place, of these kinds of usual attributes. I dragged my feet on this and finally, I said, okay, I’ll do it. It’s a job. We are not artists. We make films as a livelihood. That’s a raison d’être. So I finally agreed to go to this village. I didn’t choose the village. Whatever they said, the way the bridge’s built follows a certain set format. When the community has a meeting, then the money – it’s just like five clear stages. This was during the conflict times, so it was difficult to travel. So there were such apprehensions, like is this material going to yield a film? Is the bridge going to be built, the three thousand and first, and what to say about it? So with those apprehensions, I went in. So that was the beginning of the film. Then, as reality would have it, it just turned out to be always much more interesting, even in the most common place, ordinary situation. That’s what reality yields. So that’s really the beginning of that.
Alok Adhikari: That’s wonderful. That possibly also leads to our next question, which is something I’ve perhaps even asked you before and something I think a lot about whenever I see your films. I grew up watching your documentaries and something that’s always struck me is the connection you make with your subject, your characters, and whatever you want to call these people who are part of your films. And this is true for ‘In Search of the Riyal’, where you follow these guys, and even made a film 10 years later called ‘The Riyalists’, where it feels like, at least as an audience member, you have this wonderful relationship with these guys, who you’ve made these films about. Going back to ‘Hami Kunako Manche’ – this is also true for this film. But how do you get the villagers to trust you? And how do you get people to open up to the camera?
Kesang Tseten: It’s difficult to answer that because I don’t think I have any special charm or technique. I think it’s, most of all, the approach is really to understand that the story is going to come from there. That’s the beginning. And it’s like the proverbial person sitting by you on the bus. Once you start a conversation, lo and behold, a story unfolds 99 percent of the time. It’s really that, I think.
And then, of course, you do use a certain kind of approach – like I never tell people, can you do this again? Can you hold your teacup and make the tea for me? Can you walk over this way? I try not to do that. I’ve seen that a lot of documentary filmmakers in Nepal and other places do that, and it’s a serious mistake because this aura, this reaction, the villagers’ response to you – it comes from somewhere. And if you give them the wrong cues, then they begin to try to be accommodating to you or try to second guess what you want. And what you want to do is avoid that. We often want people in documentary films to be natural, and the last thing you should tell your subjects is to be natural because then you’re telling them to act and be natural. So you have to think about ways not to do that, that you’re not giving cues, that you’re leveling with them on the state of reality. They are who they are. Never get them to do that again, sit here, sit there. Of course, you sometimes break the rule, if you know somebody really well, you might say, do you mind coming in the sunlight so that we can see you? But I think that approach is very, very important. How you approach them, they’re going to respond to you in that same way. So they’re going to be thinking, I want to please the filmmaker or say what he wants to hear. So to avoid that, your approach should not be the things that I mentioned. That’s really important.
Sana Amir: Thanks, Kesang. That leads to my next question because in ‘Hami Kunako Manche’, the mode of filmmaking is more observational and one could categorise it into direct cinema. So do you select your mode of filmmaking before you go on to shoot or is it something that you decide on the edit table? How do you make that decision?
Kesang Tseten: Well, that’s an interesting question. I never went to film school. In fact, it was only with ‘Who Will Be a Gurkha’ that I began consciously adopting observational mode. So that means my natural reaction is to see what can be yielded from the situation. But having said that, in this film, generally the kind of distinction is observational where there are no interviews and interviews. This one has a lot of interviews, so I’m not sure it’s an observation, but maybe it has a quality of that. So, I think in terms of the observational, it’s the belief that what people do, and it doesn’t mean only physical action, what they say, embedded in their situation, is much more interesting than to ask someone how to represent themselves. So if you ask someone, what do you think is going on in your village, that’s asking them to give a presentation of what they think. If you were to take an observational approach, seeing them interact with others, seeing them have conflicts and do the most ordinary things. But that difference is really significant because it’s a different kind of reality, and you’re closer to the reality. I think there’s a place for interviews, I mean, the greatest films also have interviews, but sometimes, information from a person is like a shortcut and is not really as interesting as seeing how people are interacting in their environment. It’s over-telling. When you interview someone, basically you’re asking them to tell. But as I said, there are times when you want the person to sit down and talk to you, when we sit down with people, you don’t just observe them, you want to talk to them also. So you have to really see when to be quiet and listen, when to perhaps take a certain approach that instigates a certain kind of action, because obviously, you’re not going to stay there for one month, or two months, right? You want things to happen. I mean, this is a necessary part of life, that you experience as part of life, you’re not going to wait forever, right? So you have to play around with a mix of being patient, as well as, it’s not quite manipulating, but it’s with some intentionality. We need that.
Alok Adhikari: Thank you, Kesang. Related to that, how these particular topics come out, the film touches on a lot of issues that this small village faces. And we were wondering about what the edit process for this film was like back in 2006 when you probably came back to Kathmandu with all this footage and then maybe found all the stories in there. Because the documentary touches on everything from poverty to religion, how did the edit process go and how did you choose the topics to focus on?
Kesang Tseten: Okay, the editing process this follows is a response to the material, to the reality encountered. So I go on my first visit, thinking, okay, I’m going to make a film about the beginning of a trail bridge being built. I’m going to ask them, what does a trail bridge do for you, to the villages, what benefits? So you’re going just with that, and you’re thinking, this is not so exciting, but that’s what you do, right?
In that first meeting, when I asked that question, somebody said, oh, this is where a little girl was swept away by the river. Okay, I didn’t quite hear that. Second time somebody mentions that, something told me, oh, here’s a story, here’s something that is interesting to follow. Because let’s say your objective is to go and make a film about the building of the bridge. If you go and just literally just do that, you’re just filming what is, you can almost on paper predict without going there, right? But it’s what happens in that real situation that is interesting. So when I heard the second time, somebody repeating the girl was carried away, I followed the thread. And then I heard, I had no idea that half the village, three-quarters of the village had converted to Christianity. So then I’m thinking, okay, they’re all Christians, I go back home and say, well, I’m making a film about the bridge. Then I think, yeah, but who said I have to make a film about the bridge? You know, it’s kind of a strange situation where you’re making a film about migration or a bridge – but what is the reality that’s coming back to you? Surely, if everybody’s saying they’re Christians, that’s a big thing happening in the village. How can you ignore it? So all you’re doing is really responding to the material. It’s not like I had 101 interesting findings and then I think, which one should I select to edit? It’s actually the reality coming back to you and saying, this is what most people are talking about, these are their concerns, this is what’s on their mind, and therefore, you’re responding to the material.
The girl who got carried away leads me to the guy whose wife she was, to the relative, to the girl who was at the river when the other girl was swept away, etc. So you’re just following the leads provided by the material, it’s very little created by yourself actually, you’re only responding to situations. So when you sit down to edit, you see this is interesting – Christianity it’s got to do a little with the poverty because, in a sense, you respond empirically to the direct situation, but you think, this is a village that’s so poor, bereft of amenities, facilities, crops, but subjected to all kinds of forces from outside, including social and cultural, catastrophe, nature, rivers overflooding, flash floods. So somehow you get the sense of that, right? So that sense, that kind of a conception that you have then informs your edit, like this is what it’s about. So it’s a dialectic between the material, your experience, the encounter with this reality, and the various elements in that reality. So your edit is just following that, responding to that, and being sensitive to that.
Sana Amir: Thank you, Kesang. You were referring to the section of the documentary where they talk about religion, and in one of your interviews, it also mentions that they reverted after some years. So could you tell us about the significance of this section of the film?
Kesang Tseten: So when I showed the film in a hall, I remember, some people got up and said, what’s all this about Christianity? You keep putting this in the film. And I said, I didn’t put it in the film, It’s the reality that I collided with. So if something is really significant, why would I miss it? I have no agenda, you know? This was a Nepali audience who were reacting. On the other hand, there were expatriate, Western viewers who said, wow, this is really serious. I mean, Christianity is getting to all the villages and subverting our traditional cultures – we’ve got to do something. And I thought, I’m a filmmaker, it’s everyone’s own right to be a Christian or not a Christian. My job is to illuminate the reality and tell the story about the village.
So on both sides, there were fears, which it turned out to be 12 years later, unneeded. Initially, maybe 90 percent were Christians. When I went back (and this is a film that I’m going to make), there were just two or three households that were Christian, everybody else had reconverted. Now, here’s the complex thing, there’s no simple village, and every simple village has such complexities, because what were they reverting to? They say Buddhism, but there’s hardly any signs of Buddhism there, the actual practice is more shamanistic, sacrifices and things like that.
In the film, they say that to be a Christian was much better because we didn’t have to do anything, we didn’t have to pay, and it cost far less to be a Christian. And 12 years later, they said, now we have medical facilities, hydropower has changed our lives, there are roads, we have jobs, we’ve become richer, we have schools – so why do we need Christianity? All along, it seems these people knew what they were doing. There was no need for anyone to be patronising in either direction – why are they all becoming Christians? From the Nepalis who may be sensitive to this, and from expats who were also sensitive in their own way. As it happened, it wasn’t Westerners, it was Korean Christian branches and so forth.
The lesson from this, from my point of view, is that actually people know what they’re doing in terms of their needs. It’s not about one place having greater social knowledge.
Sana Amir: Thanks, Kesang. I’m going to play a clip from the film, and we’ll ask a related question.
[Audio from ‘Hami Kunanko Manche’]
Alok Adhikari: Thank you, Sana. Every time I’ve seen this film, that part really strikes me, and Pushpa Kunwar Ji’s reactions to reading that letter really strikes me. He’s from Helvetas and has traveled to a lot of villages to help build bridges. So I was curious about his relationship with the villagers. We ask you about your relationship with the villagers and these people, but what was his relationship to the village like, from your point of view?
Kesang Tseten: Pushpa was very charismatic, he’s also in a charismatic role because he’s the frontman of the benefactor, coming in to deliver the goods and build the bridge. I thought he was really very experienced, he knew how to deal with villagers, and was very capable.
Seeing this footage now, what is interesting for me in making documentaries is really looking at ordinary situations and discovering that they’re not that ordinary when you unravel them or illuminate them. It’s full of complexity with multiple strands and whatnot. And of course, the craft of filmmaking is to try and make them tie in together so that it makes a united form. But that is most interesting because the other way of doing films, which if I had the chance, I would like to go to a village where a trail bridge is being built at 6000 metres, but often that doesn’t come. So you’ll be waiting for a situation where there’s an inherent exceptional quality about it, right? But most times you have faced with an ordinary situation, then it becomes very interesting to look at ordinary situations and see that they’re anything but ordinary.
Sana Amir: Thanks, Kesang. We have a question from the audience – how many trips did Kesang sir make or was it filmed in one go?
Kesang Tseten: We probably went five times and we followed the schedule of the bridge-building method. There’s one where they had the community meetings, second when they delivered the material goods for the bridge, and then there’s the building, and then there’s the pulling of the cable, and then there’s the end. So we pretty much followed that process. Each time we went, we probably stayed two, or three nights, it wasn’t long. Sometimes filmmakers take pride in saying that they stayed three months in a place, and sometimes you need to do that. But here’s this fragile little village, and a team of three or four people with their equipment is a big toll on a little village, not in terms of taking away their resources, but the balance of your presence vis-a-vis their reality. I tend to pay attention to things like that. There’s no need to, really, because you’re not really getting to the absolute essence of the village. You’re getting a sociological portrait. The saying goes that essence and surface are really no different. You can find things on the surface, rather than only in the essence.
This dichotomy falls in a way, especially in a medium like film, where it’s all tactile. Who’s to say that the person that you meet for the 10th time is more true than the first time that you meet them? It’s a funny way these things work. It’s debatable how interactions happen and what interactions yield in terms of meaning.
Sana Amir: On your website, it mentions that one of your current projects is also a revisit to the site of ‘Hami Kunako Manche’. How was it going to the village after a gap of some years and how did the villagers and people react to it, and how much has changed?
Kesang Tseten: Yeah, quite a lot has changed. I went there because I heard that the village had transformed because the hydropower plant had come, a road had been built, they had jobs, and they were richer – so I thought it makes sense to go back and see. I went back and indeed found those changes, but of course, everybody doesn’t suddenly transform and become rich. Some people get a little more, some people get less, some people get jobs, and other people don’t get jobs. But it had transformed in many other ways. It was no more a place in the corner. Suddenly it was brought into the orbit of the kind of world that we inhabited in some way. People were making trips to Kathmandu, and people were traveling out for jobs, but the striking thing was that the Jhakri system still existed and everybody had reverted from Christianity. Reverted from Christianity but to what is an open question. What does it mean to say the village went back to being Buddhist? Well, you don’t see any signs of that, but they had left Christianity, and as they said, because they don’t really need to be Christian anymore. So it’s really interesting in that sense.
Some people had died. And in other ways, some people were a bit disgruntled because they had sold their land to the hydropower and then shifted up to little houses that were in the shade. It’s very important how in a village, where you’re located in terms of the sun, it defines your life and your reality. So they’re saying, oh, why did we give our land away, and so forth. So there’s always a bit of disenchantment also. And then some people didn’t get jobs or anything out of it, but this is to be expected.
I heard that the lights are coming on finally, in a couple of months. So I’m going to go back there and see the lights come on. And then I’d like to make that film. We’ve gone back about four times – in 2019 and 2018. So this will be 15 years later.
Alok Adhikari: That’s very exciting. We are already excited about that documentary. There are quite a few questions coming in from the audience. One quick one is, Kesang ji, when can we hope to see the new film revisiting the village?
Kesang Tseten: I’m not working on it right now. But I’d like to get it done by the end of this year.
Alok Adhikari: Okay, another one is more about marketing and distribution. When documentary buyers from various parts of the world look at our corner stories, in your experience, what are they looking for? Is there a variation in interest, do buyers in the West respond differently than Asian buyers?
Kesang Tseten: This is a tough question because I don’t think I’m the best example of successful marketing. It’s very hard because the slots available for documentaries, even if you were in the West, are very limited. And for us, it’s doubly or triply difficult because we are living in a globalised world, but how a film travels is definitely an open question. How a film is viewed back home versus in India versus in Singapore versus in Amsterdam, is very different. I think generally for a Western market, the films have to be a little more accessible. If it gets into too many labyrinthine pathways, it is very difficult. You may have a very sophisticated audience but it’s not about their intelligence, expertise, or sophistication in looking at films, but they’re looking at something which is a strange reality. So it needs to be deep and yet the story needs to resonate, but if it’s too local, they might see it as a bit hard to access. The important thing is the filmmaker has to come to grips with this. Personally, I think you have to make the film that you make should be your response to your material and not try to second guess what will Sundance will like, or what will IDFA like, because then you’re neither here nor there.
So second-guessing is a problem. Of course, after you make it, there are certain secondary things you might change that are of a more external nature, that you adapt because you recognise that someone might not understand. But I think there’s a primary audience and then there are things in the film that might work for some other audience. It can’t be the same thing to everybody. And sometimes it’s a matter of subject, like ‘Who Will Be a Gurkha Gurkha’ because, in the same frame, there were Nepalis and British employers and employees. So the premise itself opened up to a wider scope.
Sana Amir: We have another audience question – how did you decide on the ending of the film? Was it in your mind that it will end with the built bridge or what is something that was found in the edit?
Kesang Tseten: Almost anybody in my position would have put the completed bridge at the end because the bridge is sort of the overt narrative, right? The building of the bridge while the story unfolds. Therefore you show the bridge completed and materialised, but I also put people dancing and singing. Sometimes in a serious documentary, people don’t like to put something like that, but I thought, you know, they’re celebrating, so be it. The tension between trying to show something happy or not happy, you just have to go with your response to your material. And for me, the villagers are just dancing, I don’t need to put a different gloss like it’s kind of dark or they have misgivings. That’s what I saw so I put it in. But the issues, the conflicts that remain, hopefully, people understand they haven’t gotten erased by the building of the bridge. There’s a sadness that they went through – the death of a young girl that touched so many lives. So this is the kind of balancing act that really emanates from your own sensibilities, your sense of how to be fair to a story, to a reality, in how you represent it.
Sana Amir: Thank you for talking about the sound and music that you’ve used in the film. Can you tell us a bit more about musical traditions that you encountered while making the film and how you recorded and picked the music?
Kesang Tseten: The guy playing the tunga – that was beautiful. There he was, the husband of the girl who got swept away. And later in the edit, I heard the words “a life in the corner”. This was so touching. I found someone who played this instrument that I could play in the credits and through the film. But otherwise, a lot of the sound was from the guy himself playing that instrument in front of his house on the steps. In the film that’s to come, we asked if he could play this, and he sat on the same steps and played this tune. There’s something about time you can’t substitute, 15 years later. It’s universal, the stirring of nostalgia and memory. What time does is really fascinating and you’re lucky to have that element in your film.
Alok Adhikari: One question that I wanted to ask you was, you’ve been making films for such a long time at this point and you have been that person behind the camera for a very long time. But in this period, films have changed, phones have changed, cameras have changed and people’s relationships to these things have changed quite a bit. Everybody has cameras on their phones, and they think about how they look on camera – so how do you think that has changed, if at all, documentary filmmaking or your approach to it?
Kesang Tseten: I think what you mentioned is true. And you can very easily go for a few days and come back with material for a film. But that’s kind of happenstance, it’s a matter of luck. But ultimately, you’ve got to find the rhythm of a story, you’ve got to find the depths of a story, whatever those depths mean. You’ve got to find the dramaturgical arc, in a way.
Well, it depends on who you’re filming and where you’re filming. If you’re filming somebody in New York or it depends on who it is. Like, I have made a film now on the Himalayan community in Jackson Heights, Queens. And there they’re not fundamentally different from the people in this village. They’ve seen a camera, but they say it’s okay, they don’t really understand the process. A lot of people who watch movies don’t know the process. So there’s quite a variance of reactions from people who know the media. But of course, if you are filming people in a situation where they are totally self-conscious and knowledgeable about media, people tend to mimic what they’ve heard on TV and man-on-the-street interviews, and people often answer in certain ways. But even then, underneath, there’s always meaning coming out. People communicate and we use the same language, but beneath that, you are trying to convey some meaning. So then it’s a matter of how much time you give it, how do you try and capture those things that invariably and naturally are communicated by people.
Sana Amir: Another audience question: we have spoken about the many themes and explorations in the documentary – religion, greed, poverty development, and even language and education to some extent. You said these were the realities they were being faced with every day. Do you remember anything that stayed with you or affected you to a large degree?
Kesang Tseten: I think the personal and the filmmaker are kind of merged, right? What stays with me is the form of the film. Because what happens is, you don’t generate the reality, you encounter the reality, then you work with the reality to create a form. And that’s where you have your hand in selecting and shaping the material and that’s what is your sentimental memory of that reality, it comes to represent that. How much in a corner they were is what really strikes me. To encounter a reality where people don’t even have a form of livelihood, and the way they spoke about their situation, the way they talked about something outside their situation, came from that kind of a very “kunako manche” reality.
Alok Adhikari: So, we’ll ask one last audience question. How was Helvetas throughout, did they fund the film, did they demand a different cut of the film?
Kesang Tseten: Yeah. As I said in the beginning, they asked me to make a film and I took one year to decide to do it, spoiled as I was, thinking what kind of film can I make of it? And then because it was a commissioned film, I thought I might have so many constraints. But as it turned out, when I showed the first cut, there were a few Helvetas office people who didn’t like it. They said, oh, you’re showing somebody brushing his teeth, it doesn’t look good. You’re showing a bit of this and that, you know, not the totally smooth kind of relationship of the Helvetas partnership with the locals. They were raising a few voices like that, a few people. But at the same time, the film somehow got to headquarters in Bern and the reaction was very strong. They liked it as a film. So, when the word went back to Helvetas, they did not want me to make any changes. And I actually said, the guy is brushing his teeth, so? What’s the big deal? So, that’s the kind of challenge you face when you make a film that is funded by somebody. The inherent challenge is that people want their point of view. But you have to, as a filmmaker, try and subvert that and say, look, it’s in your interest to have a film that makes sense to a lot of people, that people watch it for reasons of interest, rather than about a Helvetas programme. So it falls on you to try and convince them. Otherwise making a film, of course, if you need a job and you need money and you need to do a PR film, then do it by all means. But you’re not going to make the film that you want. There’s not going to be a genuine response to the material.
Sana Amir: Coming to our last question, what according to you is the main key takeaway from the documentary ‘Hami Kunako Manche’?
Kesang Tseten: I think it’s to listen. I don’t mean just be polite and listen. Be focused on the situation and you’ve got to bring your understanding and your sensibility to actually hear that. So, if I had not heard that person saying, a girl was taken away, maybe by my third visit I would have got that, you know? But, right from the first, I got that and immediately thought, here we are going into a village far away that not a lot of us have any interest in or relationship to, right?
A bridge has been built, and 3000 have been built. You’re looking for something, you’re looking for particulars, for strands that resonate somehow, that are poignant, that stand above the predictable. So, you have to go with that approach and invariably you will find something because we are all human beings – the villagers as well as us. You definitely are going to find something interesting. It’s not going to be the most dramatic thing in the usual sense of the word, but…
Sana Amir: Thank you, Kesang. We will end our session with that question. Thank you everyone for joining us. With Screen Southasia, the plan is to screen documentaries on the first weekend of every month. So, we will be back in May with a new documentary!
Roman Gautam: I wanted to just say another thank you first to our wonderful hosts and to our wonderful audience to say thank you for being here for the first edition. Like Sana was saying, we will have more coming, please join us for those. But also the biggest thank you of the day, of course, to Kesang ji, and just wanted to say, personally, I’m so excited about this new film, and the fact that you’re going back. One way I was thinking about the film is that when they say, “Hami Kunako Manche”, on the global scale Nepal as a whole is a kuna as well. And that’s not to deny any of the hierarchies that exist within. But in a way, Nepal has changed so much, this place has changed so much. In a way, you can read this village maybe in some ways as a kuna within a kuna and to see how our kuna has changed, it’ll be so exciting to see what you produce. So I just wanted to say, when the time is right, I hope you have a wonderful experience making the film, and when the time is right that you will let us share the joy of watching it here at Screen Southasia as well. So please, everybody, wherever you are in the world, silently on Zoom, please put your hands together for Kesang.
Kesang Tseten: I really enjoyed this conversation. Thank you.