The Unsung

The Unsung | Sarah Thomas

Filmmaker’s statement

The Unsung is a film on a dying tribe on the coastal region of Karnataka — the Halakki Vokkaliga. This once culturally rich tribe with a treasure trove of folk songs, passed down orally from generations is now grappling against the tide of modernisaton, with only a handful of old ladies who identify with the tribe, their traditions and cultures.

With the passing of these few old women, their very culture fades away.

The film touches on the struggles of the tribe, the clash between modernisation and their culture, the fight to keep their forests alive and the painstakingly long battle to be included in the Scheduled Tribe list in India. The Halakki Vokkaliga’s story is a reflection of several hundred other tribes going through drastic changes in lifestyle, losing bits of their identity amidst the growth and development in the country. Their day to day battles on several fronts go unheard, unnoticed.

It is a record of not just a fading tribe but the fading diversity of India, as the country loses forgotten tribes living on the fringes of society.

This film is an unsung story of the last of the singing tribe, as they perish.

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