THE END AND THE MEANS
A film by Paweł Wojtasik
2018, 116 minutes
Narimane Mari. Paweł Wojtasik, Centrale Electrique
Sound by Ernst Karel
Shot primarily in Varanasi, India’s oldest and holiest city, the film’s theme is work, but work as understood as devotion. Five years in the making, it consists of meditative portraits of a broad range of laborers, such as a crane operator, a surgeon, a weaver, a priest, a masseur, a tabla drum maker, and so forth. The camera enters into an intimately attentive relation with the subjects and their workplaces: a cremation ground, a hospital, a laboratory, a high-tech satellite TV station, an apartment tower under construction. The streets of the city themselves form an important worksite, where much of the activity takes place: a barber, a beggar, a dentist. The singular portraits of workers build towards an overarching vision of society as a roiling hive where each has a place in the totality of human endeavor.