Pearl of the Desert

  • Pushpendra Singh
  • India, South Korea
  • 2019
  • 83 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
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Twelve-year-old Moti lives in the dusty Indian countryside—arid plains where goats and camels roam, and the land is still cultivated by hand. As a member of the Manganiar caste, he has grown up with music. Singing is part of his life, a way to tell stories and pass on traditions. Moti has considerable talent and attends a music school to get even better. It’s customary for his caste to perform for wealthy patrons, but Moti is uncomfortable with this. When he gets cast in a musical and goes on a world tour, his village treats him like a hero.

This is the story of a boy who’s the first person in his village ever to go abroad and spread the spirit of his people. Divided into chapters and punctuated by traditional Manganiar songs, Pearl of the Desert provides fascinating insight into the traditions, customs and etiquette of this Muslim caste. But above all, for Moti the adventure is a stage in his journey to find where he belongs.

Credits

  • 83 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Hindi
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Pushpendra Singh
Production
Pushpendra Singh for Marudhar Arts, Heejung Oh for SeeSaw Pictures
Cinematography
Ravi Kiran Ayyagari
Editing
Pushpendra Singh, Reema Kaur
Sound Design
Ajit Singh Rathore
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IDFA history

2019
International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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IDFA history