Achin Pakhi (The Unknown Bard)

Synopsis of the film

(A documentary film on the Bauls)

 length : 60 minutes

format : BETACAM

photography : Anwar Hossain

editing : Mahadeb Shi

music: Syed Shabab Ali Arzoo

year of production : 1996

script & direction : Tanvir Mokammel


“Bauls” are the trabadours of Bengal. With their mystic songs and inimitable lifestyle, bauls are a very special sect. Throughout the centuries, baul songs, depicting asceticism and transience of life, have expressed the pathos and pangs of the subaltern rural populace of Bengal. Among the bauls, as a composer of song, Lalon Fakir’s (? – 1890) position is unique. A kind of a folk-philosopher, Lalon composed hundreds of songs with profound depth and an excellent sense of music. Even a hundred years after his death, Lalon still has immense popularity among the people of both sides of Bengal, in Bangladesh and in West Bengal of India. Rather, over the years, his popularity has been increasing. Lalon’s secular ideas and enchanting lyrics have deep influence on the subsequent generations of bauls of Bengal. Although Lalon died only a century ago yet very little is actually known about his personal life and much of his life is shrouded in mystery. The film ACHIN PAKHI (THE UNKNOWN BARD), a biographical documentary on Lalon, by using folk-formats such as puppet-show, tries to depict Lalon’s life and philosophy to find out Lalon’s persona by exploring into his world of musicology through the lyrics of his songs.