Film Details

Up Down & Sideways

Film Synopsis

In the Phek district of India’s Nagaland state near the country’s border with Myanmar, the 5000 local villagers plant and grow rice in vast terraces. The workers come together in cooperative groups known as mülé and have an oral folk music tradition called Li that are sung in harmony by voices up, down and sideways across the fields and mountains in a hypnotic musical collage. Songs about love and mischief become the collective heartbeat of these people, but the traditions passed down across generations are becoming endangered by a religious shift towards Christianity, and disinterest by younger Phek residents. Through the rhythms of song, this documentary reveals a community portrait of humanity’s connection with the land.


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