|A lone traveler|
Manakamana was one such film and my favorite at last year's Riverrun Film Festival (riverrunfilm.com). Why? Here's part of the description in the film program:
Non-fiction filmmaking can't get much more formally stripped-down than this hypnotic conveyance of sensory ethnography from high above the rugged foothills of the Himalayas. From the confines of a gondola suspended thousands of feet over the budding valley beneath we observe ten separate, equally-timed voyages between the Manakamana Temple and the cable car terminal below from a single, unchanging perspective.
It was indeed a "hypnotic conveyance," a slice of life I'd never seen, stories compacted into eight-minute slivers. Some of the journeys happen in silence, as with the pair above. Others are filled with talk. The physical space of the cable car encompasses the entire frame. We feel the movement of the gondola as it moves its way along the massive cables, swaying, to and fro, moving up and down the mountains; the viewer becomes part of the journey. The start of each journey begins in the darkness of the terminal and I felt a strange anticipation each time the gondola came into the light, the passengers revealed. Oddly entrancing.