Under the Palace Wall

Young boy, pen in hand and notebook in lap, sits on the floor leaning against a wall.

David MacDougall
2014 | 54 minutes | Australia, India
U.S. Premiere 

This keenly observed film explores life in Delwara, a village in southern Rajasthan ruled for centuries as a principality of the former kingdom of Mewar. Delwara’s glittering palace, which looms above the village, has been converted into a luxury hotel; nestled beneath its walls sits the local primary school. Director David MacDougall uses the juxtaposition to enchanting effect, capturing a series of scenes at the school to compose an eloquent, impressionistic portrait of the life of the village, eschewing a linking narrative and recurring characters to convey something more delicate and elusive: the feeling of the place, the sense of the historical past that towers over the village, the vitality and chaos of the daily lives of the villagers.

Plays with Cast in India

Past Forward, My Perspective

"As a filmmaker I've observed that we live in a world of co-presences.  We feel we live in a clearly demarcated space, the present, but the present is in fact composed of different historical perspectives.  Most of the people around us have grown up at different times, and the rapidity of social change is putting ever greater distances between us.  We co-exist, but we do so from different positions.  I like to think that film can close some of the gaps between generations. This is one of the reasons I have tried to explore contemporary childhood in many of my films."

- David MacDougall | Director, Under the Palace Wall