Phantom India

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L'Inde fantôme: Reflexions sur un voyage
Genre Documentary
Directed by Louis Malle
Produced by Louis Kastner
Narrated by Louis Malle
Cinematography Étienne Becker
Editing by Suzanne Baron
Country France/India
Running time 363
No. of episodes 7

L'Inde fantôme: Reflexions sur un voyage is a 1969 French seven part television documentary miniseries about India, directed by Louis Malle. It was shown on BBC television as Phantom India.[1]

Malle later said that the film was his most personal work and the one he was most proud of, it is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of his career. It was initially inspired by a two-month trip to India in late 1967 that Malle made on behalf of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present a selection of "new French cinema" throughout the country. Filming took place between January 5, 1968 and May 1, 1968 with a crew of two, a cameraman and a sound recordist. Malle arrived in India with no particular plans and financed the trip himself. The resulting 30 hours of footage was then edited down to the 363 minutes of Phantom India. The 105-minute long Calcutta used the footage he had recorded over his three-week stay in that city. Phantom India was shown on French television and the BBC in the UK in 1969.[2][3] Many British Indians and the Indian Government felt that Malle had shown a one-sided portrait of India, focussing on the impoverished, rather than the developing, parts of the country. A diplomatic incident occurred when the Indian government asked the BBC to stop broadcasting the programme. The BBC refused and were briefly asked to leave their New Delhi bureau.[4]

Episodes[edit]

# Title Original air date
1 "The Impossible Camera" 1969 (1969)
2 "Things Seen in Madras" 1969 (1969)
3 "The Indians and the Sacred" 1969 (1969)
4 "Dreams and Reality" 1969 (1969)
5 "A Look at the Castes" 1969 (1969)
6 "On the Fringes of Indian Society" 1969 (1969)
7 "Bombay: The Future India" 1969 (1969)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sylvie Blum-Reid (2003). East-West Encounters: Franco-Asian Cinema and Literature. Wallflower Press. pp. 91–. ISBN 978-1-903364-67-3. 
  2. ^ Koresky, Michael Eclipse Series 2: The Documentaries of Louis Malle criterion.com
  3. ^ Phantom India (1969) nytimes.com
  4. ^ Frey, Hugo Phantom India in Aiken, Ian (Ed.) The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film, p. 714, Routledge, 2013

External links[edit]