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Xcèntric 2021

Bewitched film. Mani Kaul and unconnected figures

Organized in collaboration with the Filmoteca de Catalunya


This session is dedicated to the filmmaker Mani Kaul, one of the main members of the so-called "New Indian Cinema”. One of his most emblematic films, Mati Manas, combines poetry with the legends associated with the traditions of India’s ancient communities of potters.

In 1985, the Festival of India commissioned Mani Kaul to make a film about the art of clay pottery. His response was Mati Manas, a film in which different levels interact. On one level, the states of mind out of which pots and figures are made are rendered through the medium of cinema: gestures, looks, postures, movements, cadences, rhythms and rhymes. On another level, the settings and locations (landscapes and museums) and states (fascination or hypnosis) shape what Kaul calls "non-fictional reality", in which the myths related to the tradition of clay and terracotta are combined with an observation of the lives, customs and work of the different communities of potters.

Mani Kaul:

Mati Manas, 1985, 35 mm, 92 min.

Projected in 35 mm. Copy courtesy of Arsenal. Original language subtitled in English and Catalan.

More Mani Kaul films will be exhibited at the Filmoteca de Catalunya throughout January 2021. For more information, see

Special thanks to National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and Embassy of India, Arindam Sen, Gurudas Pai, Lalitha Krishna, Marina Vinyes, Joana Raja Rigall and Diego Cepeda.

Directors: Mani Kaul

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2021

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