Session Five: Mati Manas/Mani Kaul

Mani Kaul’s poetic exploration of the ancient tradition of terracotta pottery and sculpture, its techniques, its legends, and the spirituality of its forms.

Saturday 24 March 2018, 14:30 

Cinema One, ICA: [book here]

Mati Manas [Minds of Clay], Mani Kaul, India, 1984, 35mm, 92 minutes, Hindi with English subtitles

In collaboration with the Courtisane Film Festival and the Otolith Group, and with the support of Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

In Mati Manas [Minds of Clay], Mani Kaul explores the ancient tradition of terracotta pottery and sculpture, and the several legends associated with it. The film depicts the ancient objects, their social history, as well as the history of the techniques involved, weaving together the telling of tales as told by the potters themselves and fictionalised sequences in which historians talk about the artefacts encased in museum displays. Mani Kaul wished to discover the myths and states of mind out of which the pots were made, and to render a sense of this spirit filmically through his own shaping of the medium of cinema. ‘I wanted’, he said, ‘to know the anguish of the potter through my own anguish as a filmmaker.’