The Song Collector
The Song Collector
The Song Collector
The Song Collector

The Song Collector

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    • Directed by: Erik Koto
    • Released: 2017 (educational)
Running Time: 54 min
Language: English, Closed Captions.
Subjects: Anthropology, East Asian Studies, Sociology, Urban Development, Religion and Spirituality Studies.


Set high in the Indian Himalaya, Ladakh is home to a rich Buddhist culture and an ancient tradition of folk singing.  In the 1960s as economic development thrust change upon Ladakh, Morup Namgyal, Ladakh's greatest folk artist, began his lifelong efforts to preserve his beloved folk songs.  Using song as the medium, Morup and his peers sparked a social movement that would bring about profound and enduring change in Ladakh.  It was a movement built on education, tradition, and preservation.

What Morup could not imagine at that time was that he would ultimately embrace development and modernization.

Through the lives of three generations of the Namgyal family, The Song Collector explores the uneasy relationship between culture and development and ultimately offers a new vision, inspired by buddhist concept of the 'middle path,' that seeks to find a beneficial coexistence between tradition and modernization.

Festival Awards & Selections

- Official Selection: Mountain Film 2016

- BANFF 2016 Official Selection

- VIMFF Finalist

- Ethnografilm Official Selection 2017

- Seattle South Asian Film Festival 2016