Rare silent film `The Light of Asia` screened at Centenary fest

Rare silent film `The Light of Asia` screened at Centenary fest New Delhi: Silent film `The Light of Asia`, which revolves around the story of Gautam Buddha, was screened at the Indian cinema centenary festival here.

The 1925 silent film is based on the story by Edwin Arnold. The film was screened at `Gulshan Mahal`, a makeshift tent cinema erected as part of a unique attraction at the festival.

The film opens with rare shots taken in a video travelogue fashion that take the audience on tour of the "fabled land of India".

The film captures the India almost 90 years ago. It is surprising to see a tramway passing in front of the Jama Masjid where one jostles for space today or the world famous Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya.

Himanshu Rai played Lord Buddha while his wife`s role was essayed by a young Seeta Devi.

The rich cinematography by Josef Wirsching and Willi Kiermeier with use of chiaroscuro and light-shadow play makes it one of the rarest cinematic heritage of India.

The over 90-minute film was screened last year in Bangkok at the International Buddhist film Festival there to much acclaim.

Another silent Hindi film `Prem Sanyas` was also screened at the festival. The film was directed by German filmmaker Franz Osten and it was based on a script by Niranjan Pal, the son of freedom fighter Bipin Chandra Pal of the famous Bal-Lal-Pal trio.