Bay Area Premier
Hypnotic rhythms and complex polyphonic music reverberate through the hills of Nagaland in this ethnographic portrait of an indigenous community and their remarkable musical traditions. Directors Anushka Meenakshi and Iswar Srikumar take their camera to an alluring corner of India — the village of Phek in the northeast, bordering with Myanmar — where people rely on rice cultivation as their primary means of subsistence.
As both men and women labor, they sing Lis, a “call and response” style of work songs. The lyrics about flirtatious love, mischief-making, and friendship, echo timeless themes and mirror their relationship to the land. The title of the film derives from the belief that Li cannot be sung by a single voice, and needs to rendered as a harmonious group that goes “up, down and sideways”.
“This portrait of a people with an extraordinary musical culture is lovingly filmed with an eye for detail.”
– International Documentary Film Association