Film: 1431

Places + Locations | 1930 | Sound | B/W


The island of Ceylon or Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean 1930's

The title "Monsoon Island". A 17th century map of Ceylon. A scenic aerial view of a huge, flat forest, covering as far as is visible. A closer view of a small part of that forest. Trees on a hillside, the sea shore visible below. A tropical palm tree. The tops of three pine trees, against the sky. The trunk of a tree, a bird flying up the top. A tropical tree; pan left to a circular spire at the top of a tower. The ruins of a stone sculpture. A bath statue, surrounded by shallow water, lying on its side. The outside of a temple, gradually eroding statues on its wall; pan right to a dagoba, outdoor statues lying in the foreground. Rows of huge pillars; through the space between them, a wall with an ancient sculpture carved in. Stone sculpture. A huge foot, part of a larger statue. A large rock sculpture. Ornately carved steps, small enclosed statues on each side, lead through pillars and a wall to a statue of Buddha. The statue, in front of a brick wall. The same, from closer in and to the right.

The hillside, covered with shrubs and rocks; camera view slightly obstructed by a tree. The 17th century map; "Landschap" and "Wanny" written on it. Hillside; the camera moves past a telegraph pole, and wires, seen in front of rocky hills, and valley full of trees. Hillside covered with forest, palm trees in the foreground. Hillside covered with trees.

With a tree in the background, an elephant's legs, a man climbing onto one; the elephant lifts its leg up, and the man climbs onto its back. The elephant walks towards the camera from the trees on its left. The elephant's face. It pushes at a tree with its trunk. It keeps pushing at the tree, which begins to fall. The elephant pushes the tree down. The tree falls to the ground. The elephant stamps on the log, then bends down to push the tree along with the end of its trunk. Three men riding elephants along in a procession. On hillside, an elephant with a man on its back, and a chain hanging from its face, carries a block of granite attached to that chain; further up the hillside, the same. An elephant carrying a block. A man guiding an elephant along by its tail. A man riding an elephant. A block hanging from a chain; it is gently let to the ground.

A factory in the background, a small supply truck driving past; young trees growing on the grass. The truck drives through a gate outside the factory. A procession of tea pickers, carrying wicker baskets. The procession, mostly made up of women and older children, walk along, carrying baskets on their backs.

Pickers in a field, plucking from bushes; there are also trees. Someone carrying a basket on their left shoulder, picking tea. Visible over a plant, a basket on someone's shoulder, and tall trees behind. Hands plucking tea leaves. A woman with a basket on her back, wearing a shawl, gathers leaves. Another woman plucks leaves. Many people crawl along the ground, plucking leaves from the bushes as they go. A woman throws leaves behind her into her basket. Another person does the same. A basket full of leaves. Two rows of people filling, facing each other, two supervisors helping them. People queuing up to drop their leaves on a pile; once a man has done this, a supervisor puts them into a sack.

A man brings a sack in to the factory, which is brought over to a woman. Women spread tea leaves onto shelves. People crushing leaves in the rollers. Closer in. People turning the rollers. Leaves dropped after being rolled into a container, which a woman pulls away. Dried leaves on trays. The leaves are vibrated to sift different qualities of leaf. A machine that fills containers with leaves. Women shovelling a mound of leaves. Aluminium lined boxes taken over having been filled.

Outside, the boxes are rolled over in stacks, and loaded onto a barge. Many ships on the sea. A crane lifting a stack of boxes up the wall of a large ship. A ship containing crates of tea sails through the water. Men on board operate machinery. Crates are carried over. Crates of tea are pulled through the air on a platform. They are lowered off the side of the ship. A mechanical vehicle; the hook on the crane holding the platform is removed, and the vehicle drives the crates off. "The End".

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