For more than two thousand years, so legend has it, the Muslim silk weavers of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh have been working their trade, spinning, dyeing and weaving beautiful silk saris on simple wooden looms. But now their way of life is under threat from computerisation: a single operator can work four automated looms at the same time, and thousands of small family businesses are closing down.

Pat Murphy’s fascinating documentary takes us on a journey through a day in the life of the men, women and children in the silk trade, from morning prayers by the Ganges to a wedding where the bridal party display their fine hand-woven saris.

Murphy talks to everyone about their hopes, fears and dreams, from hard-nosed Hindu businessmen to young girls determined both to go to school and to marry the husband of their parents’ choice (love marriages, they confidently tell us, never work). Free from judgment, and filmed with an eye for poetic detail, Tana Bana offers a snapshot of a society teetering on the edge of a brutal modernity, with all the opportunities and losses that entails.

Alistair Daniel
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

With special guest Pat Murphy


Please note that the festival is over 18s only