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Songs of the Bards of Bengal - The Bauls and Fakirs

United States

    Synopsis: India is very rich in folk traditions.

    The origins of which may go back to hundreds and thousands of years.

    60% of India’s population is from rural areas.

    So, India has imaginably a wide range of folk art forms.

    However, because of the sheer size of the country, it is very difficult to know how many genres of traditional folk art exist in the country.

    Bauls and Fakirs are wandering minstrels in Bengal who sing traditional songs of love, humanity and devotion, with an underlying philosophy that connects the dots between the human body and spiritualism.

    Their essence is syncretism, as they encompass all religious denominations, castes, creeds, and national barriers.

    The Baul movement, at its peak in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, has now regained popularity among the population of West Bengal (India) since their music and way of life have been influencing a large segment of Bengali culture.

 This documentary presents a brief history of the emergence of Bauls and Fakirs and their spiritual philosophy - as manifested (and hidden) in their music.

    This film does not get into certain deeper aspects of their practices that incorporate rituals of the mind and body.

    Instead, we focus on the aspects of loving co-existence between the Hindu Bauls and Muslim Fakirs of the Indian subcontinent where faith does not divide; rather, it unifies the world through “love and peace”.

    This film will attempt to promote and showcase these rural folk artists by spreading their philosophy through their music and giving them an opportunity to reach out to worldwide audiences.