Mushroom at the Top of the World
Original title Mushroom at the Top of the World
Yarsagumba, also known as the ‘Himalayan gold’ is a rare mushroom picked in the remotest corners of the Nepal Himalayas. Its price can reach up to $30,000 per kilogram. A decade ago Nepal was struck by the yarsagumba trading craze, as the prices of the mushrooms soared on the international markets. Since then, the local population has become increasingly dependent on this precious resource. Mushroom at the Top of the World follows a story of a village in Nepal’s Rukum district, where in the aftermath of the People’s War, the villagers have turned to mushroom picking in order to restructure their livelihoods. The documentary film addresses the issues of the precarious world of rural Nepal and portrays the people and their resilience in daily struggles to make a living in the unforgiving mountainous landscape.
Author/s Matjaž Pinter
Matjaž Pinter is a political anthropologist interested in visual anthropology and political ecology. His research engages with the study of subaltern resistance and contemporary farmers’ movements at the fringes of capitalism, looking at today’s ‘people without history’ and their responses to the dynamics of capitalist development. Matjaž’s ethnographic films deal with disappointment as an important aspect of post-revolutionary politics that helps us map the coordinates of the politics of the present. During his fieldwork in Nepal (2015-2020), Matjaž produced several documentary films: Takasera (2016), Disenchanted Cinema (2017), and Taking on the Storm (2021). His latest, Mushroom at the Top of the World (2021) is a result of fieldwork conducted in the high mountains of Mid-Western Nepal. The film is an intimate portrait of former Maoist guerrilla fighters who in the aftermath of Nepal’s civil war became mushroom pickers.
Research Kapil Bisht
Sound Eva Pivac