WATER OF LIFE - COVER
The Legend of the Jewel – Intro to the film “The Water of Life”
Once upon a time in a long forgotten land people lived happily and in complete harmony with nature. They owned a divine jewel which connected them with their inner light: The Water of Life!
Centuries full of peace passed but eventually people started to forget about the jewel and soon after they turned to greed and lazyness.The Gods watched this with anger because they once offered this jewel to mankind and so, they decided to take the jewel away from man and to hide it in safe place. (But where? )The deepest ocean, the highest mountain and even the moon did not seem save enough to get the jewel out of reach from the greed of man.Then the Gods agreed to put it in the one place where the curious humans would hardly ever look for it: within man himself.And so the jewel seemed to be lost forever and the whole of mankind drowned in a darkness which lasted many thousands of years.
The Mother of the Universe watched her creation suffering under the long darkness and she knew that she had to act soon in order to save her work.As a loving mother she knew that the time has finally come to offer to mankind the key to the jewel. And so She dreams the eternal dream of the enlighted man in whose veins (or body?) the water of life is flowing and who finally finds back to his true divine nature.
In the czech sahaj internet “Newspapers from Paradise”, we use to introduce the musical projects of the sahaja yogis from all the World. We bring the information about different CDs, we give the contacts and in this form we bring our readers nearer to the creativity of the yogis.Until now we brought only one project of another genre – which is a movie. It was an information about the movie of a german director Carolin Dassel “Freedom and Liberation”.Here we would like to introduce You something different – something so beautiful and in the same way very impressive, what can create only a man, whose look on the World is “sahaj”. By that I mean an excellent film made by Björn Kurt called “Water of Life”. One could buy it in Cabella at the slovak stand. What this is film about, one can find out in the next lines from an interview with the authors themselves. I will only take the liberty of bringing some of my own observations from few of mine “home premiers”.I watched this movie for a few times but always in another way. I am a curious person and so I took a decision to make an experiment with this movie. First I watched it on the normal TV. This point of view impressed me as I would watch some nice nature document. Second, I watched it on my home cinema, with the stereo sound and listening from the big sound boxes. My impression multiplied and I started to perceive the movie in different way. Everything got another dimension and the relationships and connections started to emerge on the surface – the symbolism of the chakras, the journey of the water drop to the ocean, the unity. My last point of view came by watching the movie on the computer with the headphones on my ears. All of a sudden I was like taken right into the action of the whole movie, music, which was flowing straight into my brain without any other disturbing influences and the sound effect had such impact, that I was like in the meditation, every individual sequence of the movie was like blending with my chakra. Maybe you will find it strange, but these three points of view allowed me to see this movie not only like a document, but also like something what spoke to me inwards. Everything what is around us in the nature, what we normally see and register with our eyes, but not really perceive in another way… Maybe we are not able to see it in the same way as the author himself. The camera shots put the finishing touches to his view and idea to the perfection…
Questions for Björn:
How came the idea to film a parable of soul and the drop of water in the form of movie Water of Life?
Actually the story has two sides. On one hand I had to postpone already two ideas for fiction films for my diploma film at the Munich Film Academy where I studied film directing. Since I was due to finish my diploma my professor urged me to find a topic. Since I just got a job as a cameraman for a 3 weeks documentary film in New Zealand the idea to shot a movie there was quite close. But what? I had told my professor some fuzzy ideas about a nature documentary which shows analogy with our inner human condition. He gave in not because it was a great idea but rather to had me finish my diploma work. I asked Shri Mataji to give me a hint and during our Christmas visit in Slovakia, where my wife comes from, we stopped at Jozef Skurlas home. So on the other hand I got a really nice “divine input” during the New Year Puja we celebrated at his place. In the meditation I received such a clear vision that the inner journey of the Kundalini from the Muladhara respectively from the Os Sacrum to the Sahasrara is actually equal to the flow of the waterdrop from the icy mountain top down through different landscapes to the ocean where all the waters of the world are united. These are clearly qualities which correspond to our inner energy centres. That was the starting idea. From hereon everything fell in place. On this project I really had the impression to be completely guided by forces which really help you to achieve some important work. The work was extremely pleasant. Since it was my diploma work and I only had a little budget but wanted to shoot on the high quality medium film I was required to have a really small crew. Basically me and one assistant. There is no sponsor, no client nobody exercising creative control. I could really do what I “wanted”. So this creative freedom was a huge booster and gave us wings to do that fantastic work. It is like a once in a lifetime moviemaking experience. Even though we had sometimes some pressure on the schedule during the shoot we had to tell ourselves how lucky we were to be there to film this movie. We also tried whenever possible to put ourselves in a state of inner meditation while we were taking the shots. So setting up the camera, loading the film, choosing the frame was done in an absolute focus and an inner attitude of surrender. And we were so lucky to get sometimes some really unexpected incredible moments we were not even hoping for. Our experience was that if you give everything possible in your powers but at a given point surrender and step back the play of life may unfold and then beyond the wanting so badly to do something good another space opens and you are in the blessed situation of harvesting the most beautiful fruits...
The shots were taken in the Swiss Alps and at New Zealand. Does this work asks for some special administration (office) permission?
There was a real hype around New Zealand since the Lord-of-the-rings Trilogy was being shot there and it was like a huge commercial for the New Zealand landscapes. So we felt inspired and in awe of this incredible nature. New Zealand is like a mini continent. You travel a hundred miles and you have the feeling to be in a different landscapes. Basically if you shot any kind of movie it is good to get a permission or at least an approval. If get there with a huge crew and bring in a big crowd you must have a permission. But since we were only two people more like discreet hitchhikers it would have been to cumbersome to apply for each location a permit. It cost always money, you have to apply early enough and you loose all spontaneity. Some parks do not allow shooting permits but when you are there, get in fast, do it and leave no mess nobody will actually bother you. We had absolutely no troubles with any authorities. Most people reacted very positively that we were shooting a “nature documentary “ about NZ since everybody felt the same: “this is such a great place, if you put this on film so everybody can enjoy by seeing it later, that is a good thing to do.”
The melodic voice of Victor Vertunni together with the introduction shots are like a pearl right in the beginning of the movie. What brought You to the idea to cooperate with him?
Through my collaboration in TEV I got to know Victor some years earlier and I was always fascinated by his presence and especially his voice. His Vishuddi is so sweet and he has an incredible talent of narration. Victor was such an obvious choice although in the “original” german version was narrated by a woman. I could not go past him. He is too good as voice.
DVD brings beautiful shots of nature and clearly shows the idea of the author – the parable between the chakras, their qualities and Mother Nature. Attentive spectator quickly analyses these parables, for instance beauty of the lush green scenery – nabhi, or narrow chasms in the rocks – agnya chakra, or the rotation of the water in the whirl – swadisthana – creation.
Where did these ideas come from?
Well, once you have a structured guideline you actually start fleshing out things. So as we said the mountain top is the muladhara so lets see what are the qualities, the colour, the elements of that chakra you start to look for the things. For the muladhara we wanted to find that heavy, earthen and sometimes also inert quality. In the swadistan we wanted to show that whirling power, the active principle of creativity. It is like adding one to one... you start to think and things start coming on and on. Funny thing is that these – I call them jokingly “downloads” are happening during meditation. It is a real blessing and shows that inspiration is not a mirage of your own brain but actually comes from a higher source.
Sometimes we also just had key words like for the nabhi we had no idea where to look for and we literally stumbled over that river with all these beautiful ferns. It was the only “clouded” day during the shoot. (we actually had like three weeks sunny weather which is an incredible luck for New Zealand) Lucky were we because with the clouds the green colour was incredibly dense and lush. Would we have had sunshine there would only have been bright tops of leaves and black shadows because there is too much contrast in that weather and film cannot cope with that. Shooting on film was a very good decision because we had a far greater possibility to expose for details and bring in a lot of information in shadows and highlights which would have been lost if we would have been shooting on video.
Questions for Martina:
You worked on the movie as an assistant of camera, as one sees in the ending titles. What was your approach to this work and how did it enrich You? Did You have always the same opinion with Björn about certain shot or did you perceive it in another way?
Photography was my great hobby from my youth and I became very active in this field. This brought me few years ago to the desire to do something with moving pictures. I didn’t know exactly how, but SM solved it in a great manner, She found me a husband – filmmaker. And so I could try it right away “with live ammunition”.To work as an camera assistant is not as easy as I originally imagined, especially, when there are only two of us in the team. One has to play the “sherpa” and lift and carry cameras and tripods also on quite dangerous places like glaciers, to hold the legs of a passionate cameraman, who sees only his frame and doesn’t realise he stands on the edge of 200m deep cliff, sometimes has to climb up the soaked slippery slope, since the tide cut off the way back to our car (during the filming of the Sahaj cinema spot in France), etc. I think, sometimes its better to not to see all the dare-devil escapades of my skilful hubby during different film projects. This cooled me a bit down from my enthusiasm for professional filmmaking and I realised the photography is for me more suitable.Since we were shooting on a real negative film, we could check the shots only through the viewfinder right at the place.Björn is a very experienced and in my eyes very talented filmmaker, he has great sense for the light and composition and I always had to agree, that his shots were great. He had his idea about the movie, about its structure and was looking for the places, which fitted into the script. Sometimes we found some places by the coincidence and got fantastic shots.In the end this project gave me a great chance to see the beauty and magnificence of Swiss Alps which had to stand in as our honeymoon although it was not only romantic….So one with the other brought an adventure with romanticism ;)
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
I listened with astonishment to the sounds of didgeridoo and Slovak fujara flute. Beautiful combination. Here I have to give again the question, how did come the idea for this combination (union)?
As we all know, Australia is the Mooladhara of the Earth and didgeridoo is like her complete sound manifestation. Fujara expresses its magnificence, poetism and evokes the feeling of respect. At home we have quite wide collection of film-music CDs and so it was not so difficult to find the suitable composition, which would express exactly this relation(ship).
I know the album of the Ukrainien group The Heavenly River, and I have to say, exactly this composition is like describing the play of water, its whirling, current in the river-basin and the fall in the depth. Björn couldn’t choose better musical backround then this.Was the musical suit of the movie chosen already ahead or it came up only after the shooting?
We were choosing the music after the filming, when we had a clear idea about all the shots, which fit for each chakra. Then we edited the movie according to the musical background. When the edit was completed, other sound-effects were added to give the film more dynamism.
The end is really very impressive – the pictures of the see are mixing with the singing of Maori singer Whiri Maco Black and create an end of the movie – the reunion of the water- drop with the ocean. This, in our land not very known singer, introduces herself to the world in the album Giant Leap. How did You find her and was it difficult to get the permission to use her song?
As mentioned earlier this is my diploma film so we actually had to get along with a very limited budget. We started the editing process like any major Hollywood movie and started to edit with temp-tracks. Temp-tracks are temporarily used pieces of music which reflect the mood and rhythm of the scene. Later on the music composer mostly orientates himself along the temp-track to fit the taste of the director. So, in order to get an idea how the scenes could look like we had to look for a suitable music. We had to dig in our music library and came up with what seemed an optimal result. Of course, in this state we are not able to exploit this commercially but with a little help from our dear friend Tuomas Kantelinen, a highly talented and busy film composer from Finland (also in Hollywood), we might be able to get an original Film score for the movie. On our journey through NZ we were listening to mainly one CD which is called “1 Giant Leap” an immensely creative cross-over world music album. One of the songs is being performed by Whiri Mako Black and is actually a sung prayer. We felt very touched by this song and it sort of got engraved in our memories. Seeing the footage back in the editing room I had this song still on my mind and finally used it for the final Ocean-Chapter.All together it was a really inspiring and very powerful experience and I have to thank so many people on the way helping me to get it done. Most of all Martina my wife and many others, too.
The Heavenly River page, The Heavenly River Youtube,
A small example from Bjoern´s production, one minute cinema - spot for Sahaja Yoga – under the name COOL SPIRIT, can be seen on YOU TUBE - Youtube,
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