Film: 7918

Places + Locations | 1960 | Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

The Buddhist New Year Water Festival takes place on Sai Nuong Koun Island, in the Mekong River, opposite the royal capital of Luang Prabang, Laos. Most of the city came to the island for the 2504th anniversary of the birth of Guatama Buddha. Crowded boat on the river. Laotian man walks towards camera, in background man boarding sampan. Motorised long canoe. Smiling boy threatening girl with water pistol. She wards him off, backs him into river, he falls, is splashed vigorously and then stands laughing. He splashes girls and attempts to get out of water. Close up of boy making a wet sand ball, passing it from hand to hand. Adds it to a collection of balls. Buddhists praying at a sand temple (a conical pile of sand with flags). Boy holding water pistol while standing in river and splashing. A younger boy enters shot and pushes boy holding gun over. He laughs. A girl turns to splash the camera man. Crowds standing on the river bank (rear view). Men digging a hole in sand using spade and hands. Man takes handful of sand and pats it into a sand temple that is partially completed. Another man splashes the temple with water from a large can. Patting the temple to make it smooth. Close up of hands patting the temple. Two boys making a small temple, one of them stands over it and smooths the sand. Another boy appears and pours water on it. Motorised canoe beaches itself on river bank, men walk off it, some are smoking. Long shot of children sitting on the banks of the river while making soggy sandballs. Westerner wearing sunglasses watches. Medium shot of same man with boy in background making sandballs. Tilts down to girls making balls, boy in river kicks water over one of them. Another boy pours water from bucket over another. She breaks up some of the balls. Westerner in river timidly splashing girl. Boy pours bucket of water over another boy while they stand in river. Their shirts are torn to shreds. Man in hat casually splashes woman. She turns away from him and kicks water at him. He turns, she laughs. People getting into motorised canoe and crossing river to mainland. Close up of container of water being carried by man. He throws its contents at some women. Wetting leaves and sprinkling the water from leaves on a sand temple. People lighting candles and placing them at the base of the temple with burning incense sticks. The flags / banners at the top of the temple. Pouring a white liquid out at the base of the temple. Buddhists praying at temple. People running to catch a large boat that is about to leave, they climb up plank that looks unsafe. A motorised canoe on the river. Boy throws water from bucket at girl, she falls into river. General splashing, people falling, slipping, man smoking, water being thrown, children manically splashing. Man with pump action water pistol (possibly American) firing at the backs of women. Girl being carried. Close up of water pistol being fired.


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