Film: 996

Places + Locations | 1930 | Sound | B/W


The magic of the east performed by Fakhirs in India 1930's

Balls appear as does a mango tree. There is the cup and ball trick and the cut string that becomes whole again. Great stuff!!
Three Indian musicians stand in front of Indians are playing hand held drums, one is blowing into a wind instrument, puffing his cheeks out wildly, and the other playing tambourine. American voice-over - "step this way ladies and gentlemen and see how the hand is quicker than the eye". Man wearing fez hat standing behind table with up-turned cups on it. He puts something in his mouth, claps his hands, takes the thing from his mouth, picks up sticks, …. His …., the thing has gone, he pulls up his stomach, blows and begins to pull a string from his mouth. As more of the string is pulled out, flags attached to it appear. A member of the audience pulls the string, and goes out of…..
The Arab Fakhir pulls end of string out of his mouth, then a ball appears out of his mouth. He puts it into a member of the audience's hand. Another ball appears, and he shows them both to crowd and then puts them both in bag. He puts string and flags on table. Man kneeling with crowd behind him. He pulls yards and yards of cotton string which he breaks into many pieces. He shows audience …. Of these pieces. He sets them on fire and blows on them, smoke rises. Then from his closed hand he pulls one continuous piece of string. Crowd clap and applaud. He then puts the string in his mouth. He picks up musical instrument. He pushes fez down on his head, and begins to bow smoke out of his mouth. Audience applaud. He repositions string in mouth, extracts it and places it under cup.
Hindu sitting cross-legged with mat in front of him. He wears turban. He hits small bag on his hand to show that it is empty. He then pulls egg out of bag. The egg turns into a coin. Coin moves up his hands. Close up of …. Bird. Close up of basket. Tosses bird in air, pounds it with his fist. Places basket over it, and then cloth. Rolls up sleeves. Puts hands under cloth and eventually removes it. Removes basket revealing eight living birds. They hop off and then come back when magician calls.
Man in turban balancing small pots on each other while a goat balances on top of them. He then increases height of stack with goat still balancing. Man in turban shows camera mango seed. Puts it into pile of earth. Waves magic wand in circles above pile. Pulls cloth over earth. When cloth is removed there is an immature mango plant in earth. This is then pulled up and shown to camera.
White man in shorts and pith helmet feels weight of rock. He puts it into cloth, this is attached to string which is attached to a fakhir's eyes by placing a small disc under each eyelid. The …. Fakhir then lifts the rock up. Close up of his eyes. White man grabs fakhirs face to get closer look. Fakhir removes discs.
The cup and ball trick. Camera focuses on small sheet on which there are three upturned cups. …. Knees of fakhir as he taps cups with 'wand'. Moves cups and ball. Ball disappears and reappears where least expected. Now three balls, then quantity of balls increases.
Snake charming. King cobra in basket. The charmer pulls the snake towards basket as it stands with its head upright. Another cobra already in basket. … … … …

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