Up Down & Sideways

Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar
India 2017 | 83 min | engl. subtitled
Wed, 29-May-19 07:30 PM
Thu, 30-May-19 05:30 PM

Why do people sing when they work? In Phek, a vil­lage in the hills close to the border between India and Myan­mar, almost all res­i­dents work togeth­er in the fields. While prepar­ing the rice ter­races, plant­i­ng seedlings, or har­vest­ing the grain and car­ry­ing it up impos­si­bly steep slopes, the rice cul­ti­va­tors of Phek sing. This oral folk music tra­di­tion, called Li, keeps their work going and cannot be sung by a single voice. It can only be ren­dered as a har­mo­nious, poly­phon­ic col­lec­tive that goes “up down and side­ways.” In group inter­views, the rice cul­ti­va­tors share the sto­ries behind the songs and talk about what the music means to them. Com­bined with impres­sive, atmos­pher­ic pic­tures that follow the rhythm of their work, UP DOWN & SIDEWAYS is a vivid por­trait that explores this rural musi­cal cul­ture.
UP DOWN & SIDEWAYS is the first fea­ture film by the u-ra-mi-li project, which rep­re­sents a larger body of work ini­ti­at­ed by an artists’ col­lec­tive drawn to music, move­ment and rhythm in the every­day.

This film has been select­ed for the main pro­gram as well as the stu­dents’ plat­form. It is both a debut film and is out­stand­ing for its col­lec­tive devel­op­ment.