Pearl of the Desert Review : W&E @ MAMI 2019
Through the journey of Moti (Pearl) the documentary is a look into the lives of the Manganiyars, a caste in Rajasthan who sing in auspicious occasions and music is said to run in their blood.
A character in the film says that music is not just in the strings and the voices but in everything around us, the camels, the trees, the birds, everything. This I feel is translated well both in terms of the cinematography and the sound design film as the film consists of multiple shots of the animals and birds in the desert. Overwhelming work by the sound designer who captures the raw sounds of the place in a manner that it almost feels musical. It is not only the brilliant folk songs which add music to the film but also the shots and the ambience sounds.
It is in the subtle nuances that we see Moti’s yearning to be a singer. An aurally stimulating film, it unravels the beauty of Rajasthani music but also showcases the plight of musicians who are majorly underpaid but still continue to sing for the love of their art and culture.