India By Song -- Film Review
EmptyAn imaginative attempt to describe the complicated history of modern India from independence and partition to Western-influenced consumerism, Vijay Singh's "India By Song" is told through a mixture of interviews, newsreels and Indian musical numbers. It targets various audiences, from history students to fans of Bollywood and classic movies; the latter could give the hour-long doc a leg up with broadcasters beyond the shores of the U.K. and France, which produced.
In some ways the doc feels like a natural continuation of Singh's India-themed feature films "One Dollar Curry" and especially the romantic "Jaya Ganga."The Paris-based director, who appears on screen as a Western-based narrator splicing the tumult of history together, takes a sweeping overview of the last 60 years of Indian history, from Gandhi's peace movement through the Indira, Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi assassinations. It's a lot to take in, but happily sweetened by tantalizing musical interludes lifted from famous films. These delightful, unidentified song and dance numbers are frequent, but probably not frequent enough for most non-Indian viewers, who will tune out on issues like agricultural problems and the Union Carbide tragedy. Still, as a taste of India, it leaves a hankering for much more.
Production companies: Silhouette Films, Sodaperaga Productions, France Television
Director: Vijay Singh
Screenwriter: Vijay Singh
Producers: Mandakini Narain, Guy Seligmann
Director of photography: Arun Varma
Music: Paban Das Baul, Mimlu Sen
Editor: Benoit Martin
No rating, 64 minutes