TAGORE SONGS (2020.06.01 Release)


A directorial debut of Mika Sasaki, ‘Tagore Songs’ shows us the portrait of people who sing Tagore songs in India and Bangladesh.

Sasaki, a graduate of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies met Tagore songs while she was studying Bengali. Works of Rabindranath Tagore are translated into Japanese, however, his works in songs are not much known in Japan.

Previously, the release was scheduled at the end of April, due to COVID-19 spreads, the film is set to be released from 2020/06/01. Ahead of the theatrical release, the film is currently released online at ‘Temporary Cinema’ till 2020/06/12. The online release is also available in India and Bangladesh till 2020/06/12.

[Film Information]

Title:Tagore Songs
Director:Mika Sasaki
Production and distribution: Nondelaico
2019/Bengali, English (Subtitled in Japanese)

Official Web Site

Watch ‘Tagore Songs’ on Temporary Cinema (Available in Japan)

Temporary Cinema

Pole Pole Higashi Nakano Cinema

[Director’s Talk]

Director Mika Sasaki gave a Live-talk session on 05/17 on YouTube.

[On ‘Tagore Songs’]

A Taxi driver sings ‘Jana Gana Mana’ while he is passing Howrah Bridge in Kolkata. A record of ‘Ekla Cholo Re’ is played at the record collector’s place in Dhaka. People in the Bengali region respect Tagore and sing his songs.  The film copies out the people, who sing Tagore Songs and respect the spirit of Rabindranath Tagore.

Traveling between Kolkata and Bangladesh, the film introduces singers and musicians of Tagore songs such as Kolkata Videos, a rapper Niazam Rabby, and Tagore song singer Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya. Camera also close-ups a high school student boy Naeem, a college student girl Anonna.

Naeem was an orphaned street child until he got living support by an NGO Ekmattra. Now he studies at high school. Tagore’s stories and poems gave him strength in his life. 

A college student Anonna, who is in the same generation to Naeem, although their lives are entirely opposite. Wearing a mini-skirt, she goes to clubs. Her parents worry her about going out at night, she argues for her right to go places whenever she wants. Nevertheless, her lifestyle is so much westernised, she is encouraged by Tagore’s works. 

She finds out that when Tagore visited Japan in 1916, he gave a talk to female University students in Nagano prefecture. She visits Japan to explore what students thought Tagore talked to female University students in 1916.

Director Mika Sasaki never narrates her words on Tagore songs. And she never shows up to the camera. The audience just listens to the stories of people who sings Tagore songs. Different age groups and music genres, all singers speak why Tagore songs allure them. For the audience in Japan, most of them do not understand Bengali, figures out Tagore songs are not just songs, which also expresses the philosophy of Tagore. 

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