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The Cloud Door (1994) Mani Kaul


In an ancient castle in Rajasthan the King overhears the parrot in its cage whispering erotic descriptions to his young daughter Princess Kurangi. Enraged, he pulls out a knife and attacks the cage. Kurangi defends the bird by arguing that its speech is all learnt. Young women descend into the waters of a pool. Kurangi clutches the green parrot with its long tail against her bosom. Her clothes fall on the steps as she enters the waters with the parrot. The bird suddenly spreads its wings and flies off travelling over the mountain top to a far place.
The parrot has been captured by a bird catcher. When Ratnasen passes by its cage, he is startled to hear the parrot speak his love’s name: “Kurangi”
If Ratnasen would free the parrot from his sleepy master, it would be willing to show him the way to the palace and lead him through the secret passages to Kurangi’s chamber. The two reach the palace and the bird flies off to tell Kurangi of her lover’s approach. Ratnasen scales the tower to finally reach her chamber in the clouds and spend a night of’ love. THE CLOUD DOOR has been adapted from three sources: Bhasa’s Sanskrit play ” Aimaraka “(5th-7th century) Malik Mohammed Jayasi’s Sufi epic love poem ” Padmavat ” (13th century) and the erotic Indian tales “Suksaptiti” (writer unknown).

Mani Kaul – Director
Born in Rajasthan in 1944 Mani Kaul studied arts at the University of Rajasthan before enrolling at the Film Institute of India. He is greatly influenced by Indian classical music as well as early Sanskrit texts. In 1969 came his breakthrough with USKI ROTI (Our Daily Bread) and his recent Dostoievsky adaptation THE IDIOT was presented at the New York Film Festival. A Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow, he has had retrospective shows of his films at Rotterdam, Pesaro. Berlin and Paris. (Ziegler Film)

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