Notes on India's musical diaspora
whether a music aficionado or a cinephile, this weekend, watch commendable films at Films Division that will screen films based on the theme of music. From National award-winning director Kumar Shahani (Ritwik Ghatak’s student) to contemporary filmmakers like Paromita Vohra who will canvas music by Lou Majaw, Bauls of Bengal and the khayal form in Hindustani Classical music, as well as the technology and distribution of the art form.
A still from the film Sabad Nirantar, which delves on music by Sant Kabir
Surabhi Sharma, festival curator elaborates, “Films where the filmmaker attempts to use her/his art to be able to express and explore the art of music are the ones that have been put together.” Spelling out several of her picks, Sharma enumerates, “11 Miles by Ruchir Joshi is a 1991 film on the Bauls of Bengal. The film expresses the philosophy and music of the Bauls with care and detail.
Soudhamini’s Koyil Nagaswaram (The Temple Nagaswaram), a Films Division production, will have its India premiere at the festival. It journeys through the temples of Tamil Nadu tracking the wind instrument — Nagaswaram.
Kumar Shahani’s Khayal Gaatha is another important classic that delves into the khayal form in Hindustani Classical music. This is one of the important experimental films made at the time. Ranjan Palit’s film on Lou Majaw, the North-eastern singer who celebrates Bob Dylan’s birthday every year with a concert in Shillong is another treasure. Sabad Nirantar on Kabir’s music, a film by Rajula Shah, looks at how Kabir’s music is kept alive by common folk.”
Sharma feels that the films curated for the festival are hardly adequate to represent the widespread musical tradition of India.
On: April 5, 2 pm to 8 pm and April 6, 10.30 am to 7.30 pm
At: 24, GD Marg, Pedder Road.