Water and Time’s Illusion: Two Purāṇic Tales from Bertolucci’s Films

  • Alessandro Cimino Università degli studi di Napoli L'Orientale
Keywords: Bertolucci, Purana, Time, Illusion, Maya


In Bernanrdo Bertolucci’s film Prima della Rivoluzione (1964) is narrated an Indian tale about time’s flimsiness; in 2002 the same film-maker realized a short on the same theme, Histoire d’eaux, for the collective cine-production Ten Minutes Older: The Cello. Nobody has never observed that same tales very similar to Bertolucci’s one in the up-mentioned films are narrated also in two ancient Sanskrit works: the Brahmapurāṇa and the Varāhapurāṇa. The cited tale in Bertolucci’s two films should prove the fact that time is an illusion, a false perception. In the up-mentioned Sanskrit works this theme is more complex, it would demonstrate that not only time’s perception doesn’t exist, but also that every perception is flimsy including everyone’s perception of life. The theoretical constant between all these literary and cine narrations stays at the particular water’s symbology containing the emblem of the continuous and, at the same time, fixed becoming. This essay ought to analyse the narrative and ideological evolution of the Indian tale, the stylistic variations found among the individual claims of the story, both in the Sanskrit literature and in Bertolucci’s cine-production, as well as the intermedial translations from a code to another one.


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Author Biography

Alessandro Cimino, Università degli studi di Napoli L'Orientale
Phd student in Comparative Literature


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How to Cite
Cimino, A. (2012). Water and Time’s Illusion: Two Purāṇic Tales from Bertolucci’s Films. Between, 2(4). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/609