Synopsis: Close to the India - Myanmar border is the village of Phek in Nagaland. Around 5000 people live here, almost all of whom cultivate rice for their own consumption. As they work in cooperative groups — preparing the terraced fields, planting saplings, or harvesting the grain and carrying it up impossibly steep slopes — the rice cultivators of Phek sing. The seasons change, and so does the music, transforming the mundane into the hypnotic. The love that they sing of is also a metaphor for the need for the other - the friend, the family, the community, to build a polyphony of voices. Stories of love, stories of the field, stories of song, stories in song. ‘Up Down & Sideways’ is a musical portrait of a community of rice cultivators and their memories of love and loss, created from working together on the fields. It is the first feature film from the u-ra-mi-li project, a larger body of work that looks at the connections between music and labour.
Production: Manas Malhotra
Cinematography: Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar, Tarun Saldanha
Editing: Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar
Sound: Designed by Allwin Rego & Sanjay Maurya
Music: Community of Phek
Festivals: Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival Greece
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