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Musafir is the name given to a group of folk musicians from different castes and religions in Rajasthan, India. Hameed Khan, a tabla player who divides his time between Paris and Jaipur, is constantly searching for the best musicians who he then takes under his wing and teaches them the Musafir repertoire. Each cast of musicians has its own repertoire, instruments and particular style. Hammed's role is to harmonize and unite them all. The collaboration not only produces new music - unlike the traditional music most of the musicians play in their communities - it produces new friendships - breaking through the social conflicts that plague India.
Musafir means "nomad." This name represents the philosophy of the group: the discovery of others through a journey in which music is the common language. The documentary features the journey of the musical group through three main stages - their training session in Jaipur, the story of each musician's life, and finally, the group's tour of Europe.
"Musafir (Nomad) treads a very difficult path, and in the face of an ethical demand that popular culture can choose to ignore, narrates an insightful story of folk artists centered around the travelling music group Musafir... As the film cuts between explorations of the musafir (the traveller) and the journey of the group, it is evident that there is much more to folk artistes than the tokenist parading during republic day or the eroticised representations in Hindi films. Reality is not what is out there but what we know, understand, and share with each other of what is out there." — Kishore Budha, widescreenjournal.org
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
International Asian Film Festival, Vesoul, 2005
Fatumbi Award - Best First Film, 25th Ethnographic Film Festival, Musée de l'Homme, Paris, 2006
Beeld voor Beeld Film Festival, Amsterdam, 2006
Festival Étonnants Voyageurs St. Malo, France, 2006
Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival, 2006
International Ethnographic Film Festival, Sardinia, 2006
Sole e Luna, Mediterranean and Islamic International Documentary Film Festival, Palermo, 2006