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So Heddan So Hoddan (Like Here Like There)

Year: 2011
Language: Sindhi , Kachchhi , Hindustani
Duration: 52 Mins

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a medieval Sufi poet, is an iconic figure in the cultural history of Sindh. Bhitai’s Shah Ji Risalo is a remarkable collection of poems which are sung by many communities in Kachchh and across the border in Sindh (now in Pakistan). Many of the poems draw on the eternal love stories of Umar-Marui and Sasui-Punhu, among others. These songs speak of the pain of parting, of the inevitability of loss and of deep grief that takes one to unknown and mysterious terrains. Umar Haji Suleiman of Abdasa, in Kachchh, Gujarat, is a self taught Sufi scholar; once a cattle herder, now a farmer, he lives his life through the poetry of Bhitai. Umar’s cousin, Mustafa Jatt sings the Bheths of Bhitai. He is accompanied on the Surando, by his cousin Usman Jatt. Usman is a truck driver, who owns and plays one of the last surviving Surandos in the region. The Surando is a peacock shaped, five-stringed instrument from Sindh. The film explores the life worlds of the three cousins, their families and the Fakirani Jat community to which they belong. Before the Partition the Maldhari (pastoralist) Jatts moved freely across the Rann, between Sindh (now in Pakistan) and Kutch. As pastoral ways of living have given way to settlement, borders and industrialisation, the older generation struggles to keep alive the rich syncretic legacy of Shah Bhitai, that celebrates diversity and non-difference, suffering and transcendence, transience and survival. These marginal visions of negotiating differences in creative ways resist cultural politics based on tight notions of nation-state and national culture; they open up the windows of our national imagination. Credits : Direction: Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar Camera: K.P. Jayasankar Location Sound: Harikumar M. Editing: Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar Film festivals: Film South Asia 2011, Kathmandu, Nepal Open Frame 2011, New Delhi Indian Panorama 2011 Vibgyor International Film Festival 2012, Kerala, India 11th Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival, 2012 Mumbai International Film Festival 2012 International Festival of Folk Music, Kathmandu, 2012 Madurai International Film Festival, 2012 IntimaLente festival, Caserta, Italy, 2012 RAI International Ethnographic Film Festival, 2013 Parramasala, Sydney 2013 Sydney Intercultural Film Festival 2013 Awards : Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) 2011 Awards: Silver for Cinematography, Silver for Sound Design and Silver for Script Best Film Award, International Festival of Folk Music, Kathmandu, 2012 Basil Wright Prize, RAI International Ethnographic Film Festival, Edinburgh, 2013

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