Before the advent of cinema, Shadow Puppet Theatre, was prevalent and popular, for many centuries in India. The Shadow Puppeteers are the ‘original filmmakers’, who by manipulating leather puppets in front of a light source, created moving images on the screen.
They led a nomadic life style, travelling, camping, setting up screens, and performing the story of Ramayana, adapting local languages and flavours. Today, there are only a few shadow puppeteers still practising this art form. Stories and life styles have changed.
This film, with the Shadow Puppeteers, living in South India, is a celebration and dedication to the art of moving images and to its original practitioners and community. An impressionistic ethnography, reflecting on shadow puppet theatre, history, mythology, cinema and our lives.
Image source: The Big Indian Picture