Infos about the film Maybe Bangladesh
Maybe Bangladesh Film

Germany 2011, 50 min, DV-PAL 4:3
German with englisch subtitels
A film by Carolin Schattenkirchner and Jochen Erich Abel

MAYBE BANGLADESH ... these words, spoken by a Nepalese cook in Bavaria (Germany), set the ball rolling. What we get is a trip of imaginative dimensions.
Erich, a musician with itchy feet, wants to track an unlabelled cassette back to where it originated. All because of a haunting voice singing of Govinda. But then, it’s a sound Erich can’t get out of his head.
Will Erich find his singer? Is there a divine plan at work in the background? And just who is Govinda?
One thing is clear: anyone who, upon hearing a cassette, sets out for the ends of the earth just to locate a singer has to be mad, but in the nicest possible way.
And when the narrative is further garnished with cartoon sequences and the visions of a poet, expect creative chaos! MAYBE BANGLADESH is a trove of cinematic delights. It will appeal to anyone with a yearning for a wacky goings-on. Starring Incredible India – music, gods and all.

Animation + Editor: Carolin Schattenkirchner
Idea and author of the travel story: Jochen 'erich' Abel
Author of the fictional frame story: Harald Kienzler
Dramatic composition and concept: Helge Thun
Music: Sri Vidyabushana und Jochen 'erich' Abel
Sound Engineer: Max Knoth
Sound an Camera in India: Romain Cholet, Clemens Lübbeke, Simon Neumann

Bangalore 14.01.2011, by Radhika Vitla:
Maybe Bangladesh tells the fascinating tale of a German musician, who set off on an almost spiritual quest to find the unknown singer of a song that haunted him.
Eight years ago, Jochen Erich Abel, a musician in Germany got a gift from his friend Simone who had just returned from a tour of India and other Asian countries. It was a music cassette that did not have any label, and Simone had lost the cover during his travels. Erich played the cassette, which had a song in an unknown language, but was captivated by the singer’s voice. When he asked Simone about it, his friend could not even remember from which country he bought it. But the haunting voice singing of ‘Govinda’ soon became irresistible to Erich, and soon set him off on a journey to find the singer – a journey which took him all over India before it ended in Bengaluru.
This simple but captivating tale was documented on video by Erich and his friend Carolin Schattenkirchner, titled MAYBE BANGLADESH, and will be screened in the city at 11am on January 15 at Suchitra School of Cinema. But rather than a straightforward documentation, the film blends the story of Erich’s journey with fiction and embellishes it cartoons and humour. Erich first approaches a Nepalese cook in Bavaria, who told him that the music might be from Bangladesh, and it is from this that the film draws its title, Maybe Bangladesh. Erich along with three friends decided to go Bangladesh, and takes a flight to Kolkata. After he plays the tape to a few people in that city, one of them claims to know the songs, saying it’s a South Indian song sung by Ilayaraja 30 years ago, but unfortunately the singer is no more!
Erich was saddened by this news, but did not give up hope thinking that the information could be wrong. The very next day, he met another person who told him that the song was from either Tamil Nadu or Kerala. This more specific information took them in the direction of Chennai, which again proved to be the wrong place. But luckily he met a person there who finally told him what the song really was: ‘Govinda Salahennanu, Sadananda Govinda Salahennanu…’ a Kannada song by Vidhyabhushana. Wanting to be doubly sure after his many wrong turns, Erich then went to a music shop in Chennai and compared the song he had with recordings by Vidhyabhushana, and was convinced that the voice was indeed the same. Further enquiries about the singer led him to wellknown Carnatic singer Sudha Raghunathan, who gave him the address of Vidyabhushana. Erich then travels to Bengaluru where he meets the source of his inspiration, and recounts his experiences, giving his story and the film a neat conclusion.
The film is a joint effort by Erich and Carolin, and in addition to footage taken on their travels, also uses some additional elements including animation sequences, making it a somewhat unusual combination of fiction and documentary. The 50 minute documentary in German with English subtitles, has already been screened to rare reviews in Germany. The music has been done jointly by Erich and Vidyabhushana. Following the screening at Suchitra, there will be a discussion with Eric on the documentary.