Valley of the Saints

 India. Recommended.

There are several things going on in this movie. It is set among the people who live and work on Lake Dal, which has been a resort area since the days of the Mughals in the 1600’s. Of course, it is dying from all the humanity, and that is one story line. It is in Kashmir and a lot of the action of the movie is driven by civil unrest and a curfew that was actually occurring during the filming, so the scenes of soldiers and demonstrations is mostly real. (Kashmir is the largest Muslim populated area in India, so there you go. By the way, the reason we have such problems with Pakistan: Kashmir. True story, but not part of this movie.) So there is a bit of John Sayles style social commentary going on, but it interferes with the story not at all. The story is about two young guys trying to get something going for themselves. Good story, well told. There are a lot of gorgeous shots of the lake. Mostly non-professional actors including the leading man, who was terrific. So almost everyting the audience sees is the real deal. He wrote a couple of songs that are in the movie. He actually is a boatman on Lake Dal.