Fakeers of the East is a short travelogue from the mid-1930s, from Van Beuren Productions, that gives viewers a glimpse of the “magic” they will encounter on a visit to India. The film opens with a group of men playing instruments (flute and drums) during a snake charming performance. A man entertains a crowd by performing tricks (01:05), such as pulling a long line of flags out of his mouth. Another man (an Arab Fakeer, according to the narrator) pulls out yards of cotton string, sets it on fire, then pulls the string out as if it was new (02:04). He plays a tune on his flute, then pulls out smoldering string from his mouth. A Hindu man performs a trick by pulling an egg out of a bag and turning it into a coin (03:40). Another man stacks pieces of wood on top of each other, creating a narrow tower, upon which a goat stands (05:00). A Fakeer performs the “mango seed” trick, burying a mango seed and then turning it into a young mango plant (05:31). Another Fakeer lifts a heavy bag with strings connected to discs that are inserted under his eyelids (06:20). A different man performs the shell game, hiding a stone under a shell (07:08). A snake charmer charms two king cobras (07:58). The film then concludes with a similar shot to what opened the film: men playing instruments on a street in India.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com