Log line: “Join us in a journey into the lives and mysteries of the Baul people of West Bengal, India, through their teachings, music and love for all life.”
Synopsis: Circling the planet creating art, as inspired by a dream of unity, Vijali Hamilton finds herself in India, the eighth country of an intended pilgrimage which she calls the World Wheel. In 1991, while traveling on a train, she is captivated by traditional singers known as Bauls. On being invited to their village in West Bengal, she notes that the children are without a school and decides to build a structure on land offered for that purpose. Together with the village she builds a small round community schoolhouse.
Thirty years later, in 2020, Vijali is drawn back to India compelled by the love she felt for these people and a fascination with their music. We see Vijali greeting a family with whom she was particularly connected. The baby she often held in her arms is now a lovely young woman and accomplished musician. The community house is now overflowing with students while the head of the family, Basudeb Das Baul, is its master teacher.
Basudeb takes Vijali to various villages to experience Baul music and lifeways. He confides to her that they need a new Baul school to accommodate the vast interest that has grown in their music. Work begins in building the school and we see its completion and the first class that is held there.
We are introduced to Purna Das Baul a respected elder who brought Baul music to an international audience in 1967. Vijali then introduces us to Parvathy Baul, a young woman who has dedicated her life to preserving and teaching the Baul philosophy of seeing God in every person and in the totality of life and singing these truths in the Baul music. This all-embracing love for the world is being threatened by the spread of materialism. Parvathy is the main Baul who is now carrying this music and ancient mystic wisdom into the world. Other Baul women and men are also coming forth with their music to espouse the Baul way for a larger audience outside their village lives.
The film ends by Vijali offering her deepest wishes that the world be inspired by the Bauls’ music and lifeways for bringing peace and understanding into our torn world.
Directed by Vijali Hamilton (USA)