Series: Im Bann der Pferde



A film by Ilka Franzmann
© 2009 / 43 min (German+French) and 52 min (English) / HD / 16:9 / Stereo

Proud elegance, silky-shiny coats and a graceful, powerful physique — the supreme Marwari horses have been worshipped in India as magical creatures for thousands of years.

Each year in November, the small, barren desert oasis of Pushkar is transformed into a place of pilgrimage for millions of Indians. Everybody who is anybody on the horse scene in Rajasthan — Maharajas, breeders and horse masters — meets at the Pushkar Mela, the turbulent market for over 50,000 horses and camels. Pushkar is the place where the legendary Marwaris are bought and sold.

14 year old Sonaram has dreamt of a life with horses for years. He has been hired as a stable boy and given the opportunity to purchase one of the rare "holy foals" for his breeder. These "Panch Kalian horses" have five white spots on their coats — a sign that they will bring their owners five times as much luck, the saying goes. Sonaram makes his way to the Thar desert with the old horse master from his farm to buy this "holy horse".

The film accompanies the two of them on their arduous journey through the heat and sand, with motorbike and camel-drawn carriage, from horse festivals to luxury farms. With them we have the chance to see the warrior-like temperament of the proud Marwaris in riding competitions. We find out when a mare needs Ayurvedic massages and why Indians believe that taming a horse is like subjugating to the cosmos. We discover that there are swirls on the foreheads of Marwaris that bring good luck and learn why Rajputs avoid black stallions.

Director Ilka Franzmann takes us on a journey through the mystical world of Marwari horses in India capturing spectacular images along the way. We experience the loving friendship between the young stable boy and his holy foal. And we are there when Sonaram risks his whole future when the foal is about to be sold...



Written and directed by Ilka Franzmann
Based on an idea by Lisa Eder
Cinematography: Christopher Rowe
2. Camera: Stefan Schindler
Editing: Verena Schönauer
Sound: Satish Nikita
Sound mix: Tomas Bastian
Music: Nils Kacirek
Consultant: Stefan Schomann
Production assistant: Friederike Winkler
Production manager: Wangchuk Fargo
Line producer: Markus Breimaier
Producer: Thomas Wartmann
Commissioning editor: Ulrike Becker, SWR

A coproduction of Filmquadrat.dok GmbH & Südwestrundfunk
in collaboration with ARTE.

Supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.


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