Films

THEYYAM, Of Gods, Heroes and Ancestors

Kerala, India. 
HD 1920/1080
Year: 2016-2020


Final version completed in January 2021.
2 parts: 90′ each

 

Cultic and ritualistic arts have always exerted a great influence on the social life in India, especially Kerala, the home of a myriad range of performing traditions.

Prominent among these is the ritualistic art form of Theyyam.


During two months of the year, regardless of caste, social function, income, gender and age, people attend Theyyam performances to seek blessings, ward off evil spirits, cure disease, have a healthy child-birth, settle disputes, and gain advice and prosperity from the Gods.

For more please see In production: 
https://patrickmorell.com/in-production/

 

Inuit Lands, The Melting Point

USA. Greenland. France.
2017 
HD 1920/ 1080p

Running Time: 103 minutes

Opened the Film selection of COP 21, in Paris, France.

Jack London Spirit Award 2017
31st Annual Wine Country Film Festival
Valley of the Moon, California

 

https://inuitlands.com/

Greenland—the name conjures images of majestic Arctic landscapes and Nordic legends shrouded in mystery. The Inuit of Thule, Greenland—the northernmost people in the world—are proud, heroic hunters whose material and spiritual lives are inextricably bound to nature.
The French anthropologist Jean Malaurie discovered these communities in 1951—the year the U.S. government began building a military base in the middle of Thule Eskimo territory. Today, mining, oil exploration, and global warming threaten the traditions and the very existence of this ancient hunter society.

This documentary explores the resilience and the vulnerability of the Inughuit communities of North Greenland, who face new challenges posed by social and climatic changes.


It is a tribute to the People of Thule and to
Jean Malaurie’s lifetime study of the Arctic people.

High Train to Tibet

USA. China. Tibet

2009/2014

HD 1080p

Running Time: 90 minutes

 

 

 Premiered in New York at the Explorers Club in 2015. 
It is now on streaming and DVDs.

 

Running time: 70 minutes

 

https://hightraintotibet.com/

Opening in July 2006, the final segment of the highest train in the world, from Beijing to Lhasa is a technical feat. But it is also a threat to the survival of the cultural and religious identity of Tibet.

For thousands of years the indigenous people of the Tibetan Plateau lived in relative isolation, surviving as a devout nomadic agrarian society, following the teachings of the Dalai Lamas, including the current one. Today the railway completed in 2006 has opened up this region bringing waves of Chinese migrants from Beijing to Lhasa and to the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

What does this train mean for survival of the culture of the Tibetan Nomadic life style and culture?
It is one of the questions explored in the High Train to Tibet– film, an epic and exciting look at one of humanity’s most ancient and heroic people.

NAGALAND, The last of the Headhunters

Nagaland, India

2012

SD 720p

Running Time: 75 minutes

Opened at the Margaret Meade Film Festival in NY

in 2012.

The film is now on DVDs and streaming.
https://nagalandheadhunters.com/

 

 

 

Nagaland, the Last of the Head Hunters” is an exploration of the Nagaland Region, home of the Naga tribes which are based in North East India and Northern Burma.
The film underscores the long  traditions of headhunting, tattoos and bravery among several of the clans or tribes featured in this 75′  film.

Through  scenes of daily life, recorded conversations, particular festivals and family events, the documentary bears witness to the traditional lifestyle of the Nagas communities.
And how it  blends with the intrusive modern world and the Christian values that the first missionaries (Americans) introduced at the end of the 19th century.
Though these paradigms, the film intents to convey  a deeper understanding and clearer perception of the complexity and richness of these tribal cultures.

 

CHINA ARTS, Here and There Now and Then

Shot in Bejing and Shanghai, Paris and New York.
2 parts series. 2008/2009.

Stand def: 720p PAL
running time 120′ 

Premiered in its rough cut at Princeton University, New Jersey  in 2009

 

https://patrickmorell.com/works/art/

Following the death of Mao in 1976, and the movement of Tiananmen Square in 1989 which gave birth to the Chinese artistic New Wave, Chinese artists began making their mark on the international art scene. This documentary examines the trends in the explosive generation of contemporary artists by visiting them where they live and work, in mainland China (Beijing and Shanghai) and in the US and Europe.

In painting, sculpture, photography, and filmmaking spaces – this documentary highlights not only the artists’ governing aesthetics and everyday working life, but also a particular vision of China, now and then, through its transformative aspects from a architectural, sociological and an esthetic points of view.

ARQUEOLOGIA

Havana (Cuba) Paris ( France)
2015
HD 1080p
Made in collaboration with Atelier Morales (Paris, France)

 

Juan Luis Morales and Teresa Ayuso) present here  “Arqueología No. 2” or Archeology Num. 2 from their series “Patrimonio a la Deriva Arqueología”.

The film is available now ONLY on streaming or in DVDs.
It has never been released.

The Ghosts of the Three Gorges

Three Gorges Region, Central China.
2008

Stand. Def: 720/576 PAL

 

 

This film is a travelogue on the Yang Tse River through the Three Gorges region in Central China. China’s greatest engineering project since the Great Wall,  the Three Gorges Dam keeps pooling dangerously high levels of pollution and has displaced more than a million people to new re built towns on the hillsides and banks of the River.

The program examines the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam, half way between Yitchang and Chongqing on the local populations.

Running Time: 26 minutes.

BAIKAL, Sacred Sea of Siberia

The Lake Baikal Series.
Siberia, Russia.

 2 films, 52′ each

“Baikal Sacred Sea of Siberia.”
“The Nerpa, an endangered species.”

DV Cam. PAL. Stand. Def. 720x 576
Jakaranda Productions. Fr/ Visual Arts Productions. Int. U.S. 1997/ 2000.

 

“Lake Baikal, Sacred Sea of Siberia” is a 2 X 52′ parts documentary

The Part One illustrates the return of  the local traditions and customs since the Buryats declared their sovereignty in 1990 from the former Soviet Union.
The Lake Baikal area became a UNESCO heritage site in 1994.

Running Time: 52 minutes

Part Two: 
The Nerpa, A Species Endangered” 

examines the impacts of a pulp and paper plant  built by the Soviets during the Cold war, on the lake and its inhabitants.

And more particularly on the Nerpa, the only fresh water seal on the planet.

Running Time: 52 minutes