In Kathmandu, Bishal boards the usual cramped bus home to his aunt's house after a long day of school and guitar lessons. At seventeen, he has big dreams of a career as a businessman in the music industry. Bishal's father's tailor shop does well enough to send him to school in the city to receive a better education. He is young, ambitious, and Untouchable.
Nepal has entered an era of transformation and opportunity with the adoption of a new constitution and the long journey of rebuilding post-earthquake. The Dalit community, in particular, has a lot to gain as they have been at the bottom of the caste system for centuries. However, even though the new constitution envisions a non-discriminatory society, it leaves many Dalit issues unrecognized.
Caste Out is an interactive web documentary that explores the lingering effects of a centuries-old caste system through the story of one Dalit family. Despite their many challenges, the Pariyar family finds opportunity in skill development and education. Their story embodies the hope of their community and explores the new and existing challenges Dalits face.
We are pairing a verité-style, character-centered approach with the powerful capabilities of multimedia storytelling to create a gritty yet visually authentic portrait of modern day Nepal. This project fuses together different digital media such as traditional filmmaking formats, stills shot by the characters themselves, and 360-degree video to create a truly immersive and unique web experience that is expansive in its educational capabilities.
Additionally, the project includes a virtual reality documentary short exploring the experience of Mamata, a young girl from Bishal and Christina's village. This cross-platform, interactive approach provides an intimate look at the nuanced role of the caste system in modern day Nepal and how today's generation of school children are pursuing work and dreams beyond what was possible in the past.
Caste Out: Mamata trailer in 360-degree video. Click and drag.
Nepal is undergoing immense change as they rebuild the destruction of the 2015 earthquake and enact a long-awaited constitution. They must create a strong infrastructure with the threat of another earthquake looming in the near future. This is a critical and historic moment in the country's development. Caste Out will educate and inspire viewers as they experience the power of hope and solidarity in advancing and unifying a larger community in times of deep and necessary transformation.
The film's characters inhabit two different locations; the capital city of Kathmandu and the town of Besisahar. The supplemental VR short film, Mamata, takes place in the hillside village of Maigum. Each location offers a unique, colorful portrait of modern day Nepal.