Marek Ranis
KTM Sublime, 2007/2008
Marek Ranis & Jonathan Case

(KTM is the Airport code for Katmandu, Nepal)

Katmandu is for many westerners a gate or one of the final steps leading to one of the most sublime or heavenly experiences. Before one can see the roof of the world, the highest mountains on the earth, one has to stop in Katmandu the capitol of Nepal and the closest to Mount Everest international airport. This is one of the last earthly passages before reaching to the sky from one of highest peaks in the world.

The footage for KTM Sublime was taken during my stay in Katmandu in 2007 as a teacher/volunteer, as well as during a short flight over the Himalayas. It is an impression of the city inspired by daily commute to the school where I taught.

Katmandu is an overpopulated city with major infrastructure and pollution problems. This City is struggling, like many third world countries' metropolis, with poverty, unemployment, and great political tensions. Many Nepalese never see the mountains up close, unless they are from the mountains region. But millions of Katmandu residents depend on the water from Himalayas or are part of a tourist industry, which is the most important aspect of Nepali economy.

Majority of visitors limit they stay in the city due to air pollution noise and overwhelming poverty. Katmandu is a place where aggressive capitalism coexists with communist ideas in front of Hindu and Buddhist backdrop under the King's watch. Western and Eastern ideologies coexist regardless of fighting political factions.

The city is balancing on the edge of an environmental catastrophe, in the same time a huge influx of new people as well as agrowing demographic, reflects great hopes and vitality of this place. Katmandu is overwhelming; difficult to comprehend with its traffic noise, melange of rural and urban life, commerce and spirituality.

The movie should be projected on large screen with good stereo audio system.