Private Project

Water in the Hindukush

With water as an example, this film explores the relations between Man and Nature in the rugged and arid Hindukush Mountains in NW Pakistan. The mountain people have developed sophisticated irrigation systems and water mills. As a result of development programmes small hydel plants have come. Now a single bulb in the house enables the children to study at night and their mothers to keep down the fleas inside the dark houses. Development programs have provided drinking water – conflicting with local perceptions of what is healthy water. The film gives examples on how the Kalasha explain natural phenomena through myths. We see the valleys hit by violent flash floods (due to deforestation done by people from the outside) and by drought with disastrous effects. The Kalash explain natural phenomena through myths and disasters as controlled by higher powers that get angry if humans don’t obey the religious rules. We see how the higher powers are reconciled by purification rites, sacrifices and offerings.
The closing scenes put the disasters into a global perspective.

  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Qazi Khosh Nawaz
    Key Cast
  • Washlim Gul
    Key Cast
  • Kashkari
    Key Cast
  • Yasir Khan
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Water, Religion, Health, Ethnography, Climate, Technology, Gender, Development programs
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 29, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Himalaya Filmfestival 2005
    November 6, 2005
  • University of Glasgow Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at a Multidisciplinary International Conference 2004 on Sustainability of Communities in Remote Environments: Hindu Kush, Pakistan
    United Kingdom
    September 7, 2004
Distribution Information
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Birgitte Glavind Sperber

Birgitte Glavind Sperber: Born 1942, M.Sc. in Biology and Geography from University of Copenhagen. Retired senior lecturer in Geography and Biology from University College South in Denmark.
Every year 1983-2008 and in 2018, 2019 and 2022 long stays, in total over 2½ years, among the Kalasha, a non-Muslim minority living in the Hindukush Mountains in NW Pakistan .
Education in social anthropology from Aarhus Open University. Author of books and ethnographic papers on the Kalasha.
Since 2000 shooting with a camcorder.
First film made at Danish Film Institute’s Video-workshop in Haderslev in 2001.
Since then working alone at my computer at home.
12 of my Kalasha documentaries have been selected for screening at 24 international film festivals. Two have been awarded ("The Last Honours" and "Kalasha Medicine").

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