D.  Song Forever

The Broken Song

Sabin Alun

INDIA (Assam) / 2015 / Karbi / Color / DCP / 52 min

Director, Script, Music: Altaf Mazid
Photography: Mehdi Jahan
Producer: Rajiv Mehrotra
Production Company: Public Service Broadcasting Trust
Source: Zabeen Ahmed

Taking the oral singing traditions of the Karbi people, the filmmakers created a playful musical, set in a village in the present day, where gangsters wear shades and drive luxury limos. Though the Karbis are animist and don’t worship Hinduism, heroes and episodes from the Ramayana find their way into the story. Rabon abducts Ram’s wife Sita because his sister Sabin’s nose was chopped off by Ram’s brother . . . ?! Memory and myth carried down through generations of Karbi oral culture are opened up to the present. Renowned as a film critic, the late Altaf Mazid previously attended YIDFF as a juror of the FIPRESCI Award in 2001.

Songs of Mashangva

INDIA (Manipur) / 2010 / English, Tangkhul, Meitei / Color / DCP / 62 min

Director, Photography, Producer: Oinam Doren
Music, Songs: Rewben Mashangva
Production Company, Source: Ourvillage Films

Rewben Mashangva travels through the remote villages of the Tangkhul Naga to talk to the old people and collect songs and instruments. The rhythms, melodies and lyrics form links to his own music, which he describes as Naga Folk Blues. In his traditional haokuirat hairstyle and western boots, he travels with his 9-year old son Saka, performing across India and Southeast Asia spreading the message that there is no reason to be ashamed of one’s own culture nor regard Western culture as superior. The thousand-year old Tangkhul Naga folk music was almost destroyed by the fervour of Christian missionaries.