SHORT DOC // 08 MINS // 2017

Produced by
CANADA and Early Man film.

Directed by
Erik Morales.

Cinematography by
Daniel Fernandez Abelló.

Edited by
Marc Soria.

Music by
Toni M. Mir.

Arthurian myth and Sikh legend collide in a monochrome portrait of the Nihang warriors. A personal project I shot in Punjab, northern India.

Premiered at NOWNESS.   

Who are the Nihang?

Nihangs, also kwon as “Akalis” (Immortals), are an armed Sikh order famed for their bravery and ruthlessness. Early Sikh military history is dominated by the Akali, that is particularly noted for the many famous victories they won, often while they were heavily out-numbered. The Nihangs have historically been held in great affection and respect by Sikhs due to the pivotal role they have played in Sikh history. The Nihang's activities are currently mostly ceremonial, as it is peace time. But in times of war for the Sikh religion the Akalis have historically spear-headed the attack on the enemy.
After "Riders of the Well of Death" (2016), we returned to India to explore the Nihang Sikh.

"Immortals" is a portrait of the Nihang, the last Sikh warriors, the old vanguard of their armies. Nomadic soldiers with no war to attend to, who wander Punjab territory spreading the word of their God, waiting to be requested again.

As they wait, times have changed and India has transformed. The Nihang have remained true to their essence, pure and mystical, surviving and adapting themselves in a new technological and global world, a world that is strange to them. As ghosts of the past, witnesses of an India that no longer exists, wander through modern India spreading their message.

"Immortals" is a fascinated look at the world of the Nihang. Using as leitmotif an excerpt of the Arthurian legend that has many similarities with Nihang current situation (a fragment of John Steinbeck's "The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights"), "Immortals" meditates through his images and his narration on the reality of these warriors and the future that awaits them.

Erik Morales.