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The golden beach by Wester, Hasse

In a valley near a stunning beach in Southern India, Swedish filmmaker Hasse Wester made friends with a local farmer Maneshwara. In this personally told story we follow Hasse’s friendship with Maneshwara over a period of 20 years and the farmers’ encounter with Western tourists. Highlighting the drastic changes in the daily lives of the locals and other implications of globalization, this film gives an honest and critical view on human relationships, whilst at the same time celebrating friendship.

Social interest

The first time Wester visited the small village of farmer Maneshwara was in the 1980s. It was a secluded area belonging to a tight and self-reliant farming community. In that period, villagers hardly met travelers from outside the area, let alone foreign visitors. In the 20 years that followed, the community had to cope with big economic and social changes. The ever-growing flow of Western tourists had locals change their way of making a living. Many stopped farming and plunged into the tourist industry, opening shops, cafes and sleeping accommodations. Most families became wealthier, and children were able to go to school. However, relationships in the community deteriorated and in only 20 years the peaceful bamboo settlement Wester knew changed beyond recognition.

Ethnographic interest

The first time Wester visited he spent over a year in the village and learning the local language. Moreover, he built rapport with all the villagers, especially farmer Maneshwara with whom he developed a close friendship. Over time, director Wester has reached an unique position in the village, as both a confidant and a recorder. The result is a documentary with an ethnographic character. An important part of Anthropology, the research method ethnography is the data collection of peoples and cultures, where the researcher observes a community from the informant’s point of view, in naturally occurring settings.

Wester, Hasse
Copyright Holder
Beeld voor Beeld
58 min.
Year of release
Karnatakan, Swedish

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