India | 83 min | 2017 | English / Various Naga Tribal Languages With English SubtitlesAustralian Premiere
Film Festivals and Awards
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2017
Festival of South Asian Documentaries Kathmandu
Close to the India - Myanmar border is the village of Phek in Nagaland. Around 5000 people live here, almost all of who 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 and 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.