Having premiered at the London Indian Film Festival, the documentary on the mystic musicians of Bengal will soon be available to stream online
A poster of Who is Baul
Last Updated: 02.31 PM, Jan 24, 2023
A documentary titled Who is Baul – a collaboration between two-time Grammy Award-winning composer Ricky Kej, historian Vikram Sampath and filmmaker Sairam Sagiraju – is set to release on YouTube next month.
Who is Baul is about the 1,000-year-old mystic music traditions of the Bauls of Bengal. The singers, who live in rural West Bengal and Bangladesh, have a big influence on Bengali culture, and have also influenced the works of Rabindranath Tagore. They wander through villages, sing on trains and tea shops, and live on alms. The documentary showcases the modern demands that threaten their simple, yet enlightened lifestyles.
The documentary is especially close to Kej’s heart, considering that it is rich in music. So much so that there is a Baul song every 15 minutes or so in the film.
After a successful premiere at the London Indian Film Festival and a good run on the streaming platform MUBI, the documentary will release on YouTube on February 22. It was also screened at Indian Music Experience museum in 2021.
Speaking about his association with the film, Ricky said, "It was an honour for me to compose the original score for this film. The entire team can't wait for you to check it out."
Kej's 14th studio album, Winds of Samsara, a collaboration with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman, won a Grammy Award for the Best New Age Album in 2015. In 2022, he won another Grammy Award for Best New Age Album for Divine Tides, on which he collaborated with Stewart Copeland.
Directed by Sairam Sagiraju, it is produced by Vikram Sampath, Rajib Sarma and Ricky Kej. Sagiraju, Sampath and Sarma are also the writers, while the original score and music supervision is by Kej. Who is Baul releases on YouTube on February 22.