This extraordinarily intimate and illuminating documentary, by renowned ethnographic filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall, continues David’s compelling exploration of education and adolescent life in India’s Rishi Valley School (see also “Some Alien Creatures” and “SchoolScapes”). A famous progressive co-educational school in Andhra Pradesh, South India, Rishi Valley School was founded on the educational philosophy of Krishnamurti, one of India’s most prominent 20th-century thinkers.
Awareness incisively examines the sensibilities of two groups of young Indian teenagers — a group of girls in their dormitory and a group of boys in theirs — as they live out their daily experiences at the school. The two groups were filmed separately by David and Judith over a period of several months’ stay at the school.
With perceptively observed filming and subtly nuanced editing, Awareness vividly illustrates key gender differences at this critical stage of adolescence and demonstrates how Krishnamurti’s encouragement of individuals’ awareness and sensitivity to their surroundings is played out at the school.
With moments of humor and close attention to the processes of learning, Awareness provides unparalleled insight into adolescent life at one of the most important schools of the Indian subcontinent. This unique film will capture student attention and generate thought and discussion in a wide range of courses in Asian and Indian studies, cultural anthropology, adolescent development, gender studies, and education. It is in English, but with English subtitles.