This is another film from the Madras Documentary Company, whose work on Ellora and Ajanta and other places I have previously featured in this series.
This one reviews the history of cave dwelling and decoration in India, and then describes the history of cutting caves out of mountains and cliffs, and it’s elaboration and development through the centuries, until it was largely abandoned in the 10th century.
Although it doesn’t focus solely on Buddhism, there are so many Buddhist caves that they largely dominate the history of the subject, but we also see how the art-form eventually transfigured into the free-standing temples of south India. The film also briefly shows how this art form travelled abroad and influenced art and temple building in many Asian countries.
As always with this company, they manage to combine informed narration with good photography and all well edited together to form a satisfying and informative short film.
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