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What has India brought us?


Visiting India
Jean-Claude Carrière Film-maker
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Peter is someone who travels light, a little afghan bag there, and he rings my door one day, by himself, and says, 'I go to Delhi on Thursday, are you coming?' You can't say no, you cancel anything you might have planned, and you go, right away. There were 30, 40 trips to India, I don't remember, and I still go back a lot. I came to know India quite well, I made several films, I worked there. I was there again for three weeks in November.  Now I guide people in India, friends and family asking me to show them India. It is as if I had family over there, it is as if all the characters out of the Mahabharata, Pandava, Kaurava, all of them... were part of my family over there, in caves, in sculpted bronze, wood, stone, and from time to time I go to visit them, saying hello, presenting them to people who are with me. Last time, I went with my eldest daughter so I introduced her to her Indian cousins whom she didn't know.

Peter était quelqu'un qui est très léger, il a toujours un petit sac afghan là, il arrive ici, par exemple un jour il est sur le perron, il sonne à la porte, il est là tout seul et il me dit: «Je vais à Delhi jeudi, tu viens?» On ne peut pas dire non, on annule tout ce qu’on à faire et on s’en va, tout de suite… Il y a eu 30, 40 voyages en Inde, je me rappelle plus, j’y retourne d’ailleurs toujours beaucoup depuis ce temps là, je suis devenu très familiers avec l’Inde, j’ai fait plusieurs films, j’ai travaillé. J’étais encore là au mois de novembre pendant trois semaines. Maintenant je suis guide en Inde, je fais voyager des gens, les amis me demande de leur montrer l’Inde. C’est comme si j’avais une partie de ma famille là bas, c’est comme si les personnage du Mahabharata, les Pândava, Kaurava, tous… étaient un peu des membres de ma famille qui sont là-bas, dans des grottes, sculptés en bronze, en bois, en pierre et je vais les voir de temps en temps, je vais prendre de leurs nouvelles – bonjour, salut – je les présente à ceux qui sont avec moi. La dernière fois je suis allé avec ma fille aînée, alors j’ai présenté ma fille aînée à ses cousins indiens qu’elle ne connaissait pas.

French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (1931-2021) began his association with films aged 24 when he was selected by Jacques Tati to write for him. This early experience led to further contact with other film-makers, including Luis Buñuel with whom Carrière collaborated for many years. He wrote screenplays for films including Belle de Jour, The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeoisie, Tin Drum and Danton.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: India, Mahabharata, Peter Brook

Duration: 1 minute, 12 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2010

Date story went live: 18 October 2010