La nuit nomade
France / 2011 / 85'
“La Nuit Nomade” tells the story of a group of nomads who live on the Ladakh plateau and focuses on the last few months they have spent together. The plateau sits about 4,500 metres above sea level, making it one of the highest inhabited areas on the planet. Each year, more and more families sell off their livestock, driven by the extreme climate and harsh environment. An increasing number of people are abandoning this nomadic way of life and moving to the outskirts of the capital, Leh, where they work as poorly paid labourers. The director lived alongside the nomads for months and filmed an intimate portrayal of their words and actions.
French ethnologist Marianne Chaud was born in 1976. She graduated from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris with a doctoral thesis on the relationship between humans and the Himalayan region of Ladakh-Zanskar, in the north of India. In the ten years that followed, she returned to these areas on a regular basis and was welcomed by Zanskari families; she learned their language, habits and customs and took part in their daily lives, both in the fields and at home, creating a strong bond with the local population. In 2005, she sent a proposal to French production house ZED for a documentary on two young Zanskari women, which went on to become the film Devenir une femme au Zanskar. In 2006, she returned to Zanskar to make another film, this time on her own. The result, Himalaya, terre des femmes, portrays the daily lives of four generations of women and it won the Italian Alpine Club’s Gold Gentian at the 57th TrentoFilmfestival. Marianne then embarked upon another solo project in which she used a tiny camera to film the life of Kenrap, an 8-year-old Buddhist monk. The result was the documentary Himalaya, le chemin du ciel, which was released in France in 2009; it won the Città di Trento Gold Gentian for Best Film at the 58th TrentoFilmfestival. Marianne has recently taken an interest in the political situation in Tibet and has agreed to make Orphelins du Tibet, a film on Tibetan children in India.