Denmark by the Ganges / 2017

Directed by Nicolás Servide Staffolani
Produced by Andreas Dalsgaard

This film-essay takes place in the former Danish colony of Serampore, an Indian city by the Ganges river. It is a poetique and sensorial story, which takes the audience on a trip to the common past of Europe and Asia. However, this is not a historical documentary, but a film about the role of history in our understanding of the world today.

Once Serampore was one of the biggest Danish towns and a center of knowledge, education and intercultural encounters between Asia and Europe. Today the city has turned into a suburb of Kolkata. Historian Simon Rastén and anthropologist Bente Wolf revisit the old city with a new project: to restore some of the old Danish buildings.  

Together with intellectual historian Milinda Banerjee and architect Manish Chakraborti, Simon and Bente witness how European and Indian buildings are on the verge of collapse. We rediscover the city as we navigate through ruins from the glorious past, today almost forgotten. We dig out personal letters from dusty archives, which shed new light to understand how Europeans and Indians saw each other. What did those intercultural encounters mean then, and what do they represent for us today? Can history really helps us to understand the past? Or is history a way to reimagine our present?

 
 
 
 
 

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Nicolás Nørgaard Staffolani

Andreas Dalsgaard

National Museum of Denmark

Bente Wolff
Simon Rastén
Manish Chakraborti
Malinda Banerjee

Nadim Carlsen
Juan Palacios

Nicolás Nørgaard Staffolani

Morten Svenstrup

Sune Lolk
Birgitte Keseler

Birgitte Keseler
Sofie Husum Johannesen

Kristina Djurhuus Christiansen

Bente Wolff
Simon Rastén

Andreas Dalsgaard
Juan Palacios

Sofie Husum Johannesen

Nicolas Nørgaard Staffolani

Adelsteinn Hallgrimsson

Gour Malakar
Binoy Majumder
Soma Majumder
Kristina Djurhuus Christiansen

Sofie Husum Johannesen