Critics Consensus

Its tranquil pace will prove jarring for the blockbuster-inclined, but Manakamana rewards patient viewers with a singularly haunting experience.



Reviews Counted: 48

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Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

Breathtaking, poignant and mesmerizing, MANAKAMANA is a documentary shot entirely inside the narrow bubble of a cable car, high above a jungle in Nepal, as it transports villagers and tourists to an ancient mountaintop temple. Filmed in 16mm and comprised of 11 rides (each a single take corresponds to the length of a roll of film), MANAKAMANA is a tender, ephemeral character study of its passengers and a window onto the lush, rolling landscape of a country in transition from ancient tradition to modernity. This evocative and rigorously structured documentary presents a rich sensory experience that ignites the viewer's imagination to fill in the past, present and future of each moment as they watch. The New York Film Festival calls it, " airborne version of an Andy Warhol screen endlessly suggestive film that both describes and transcends the bounds of time and space." (c) Cinema Guild

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Critic Reviews for Manakamana

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (12)

We're basically gawking at a commute.

Dec 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Invited to sit in the facing seat, we have long minutes to watch, listen and assess, considering who these pilgrims are and what, aside from worship, has really brought them here.

Jul 3, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Manakamana" is simple in conception, but the reactions it evokes in viewers will be complex and multifaceted.

Jun 26, 2014 | Full Review…

"Manakamana" is a haunting experience, one that requires patience (and then some) but that offers spiritual, philosophical, and aesthetic rewards beyond the immediate power of words to describe.

May 15, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The directors, Pacho Velez (who did the camera work) and Stephanie Spray (who recorded the sound), condense world history into the confined space of a glassed-in bubble.

Apr 21, 2014 | Full Review…

By focusing on such a narrow slice of Nepali life, Ms. Spray and Mr. Velez have ceded any totalizing claim on the truth and instead settled for a perfect incompleteness.

Apr 17, 2014 | Full Review…

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