Newly released after a month’s wait, are these films! Documentaries are the first out of the gate, two of which have similar themes of depopulated places and natural beauty, there’s a quick cash-in horror movie from Takashi Shimizu, a J-horror veteran, an Eisuke Naito, and then there is the next documentary which is brilliant.
タゴール・ソングス「Tago-ru Songusu 」
Release Date: June 01st, 2020
Duration: 105 mins.
Director: Mika Sasaki
This documentary is a bit of a stunner. I had no idea about the poet Rabindranath Tagore or his place in Bengali culture, something I am also ignorant about, but after watching this film I felt I had been educated, a whole culture had been opened up to me and I wanted to learn more.
If you are coming out of lockdown and see one film to free your mind and lose yourself in, choose this one.
Synopsis: Rebindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a poet and musician from India who created over 2000 poems and songs that have shaped Bengali culture. In 1913, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and he also campaigned against British imperial rule. Despite his songs and poems being made nearly a century ago, they are still relevant and impact the lives of people today.
Mika Sasaki and her crew travelled to India, Bangladesh and Tokyo and interviewed people people from different layers of society to learn what the songs mean to them and they get a real cross-section of society from students to teachers and street musicians and randoms on the street who are all able to recite at least a verse and do so with a depth of emotion that shows the songs power for them. Beautiful landscapes and interesting cityscapes and the myriad of people in them paint an evocative picture of the culture of these places as well. Most importantly, it features the poetry and the words are sooooo beautiful!