Private Project

Singing a Great Dream

People's singer, songwriter, and Maoist cultural leader Khusiram Pakhrin's musical journey through nearly 4 decades of political movements and revolution in Nepal.

  • Anna Stirr
  • Bhakta Syangtan
  • Laxmi Syangtan
  • Sarita Lama
  • Khusiram Pakhrin
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    माहन सपना गाउदै
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Music, Revolutionary, Biography
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 8, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Nepali
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Darbhanga International Film Festival
    February 8, 2020
    World Premiere
    Best Documentary (International); Best Director (International)
  • Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards
    Official Selection
  • Depth of Field International Film Festival
    January 27, 2020
    Exceptional Merit
  • Docs Without Borders Film Festival
    March 7, 2020
    Exceptional Merit
Director Biography - Anna Stirr, Bhakta Syangtan

Anna Stirr is an ethnomusicologist who creatively documents music, poetry, and dance from Nepal through writing, performance, and audiovisual media. Author of the award-winning book Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal (Oxford, 2017), this is her first film. She is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii Manoa.

Bhakta Syangtan is a multimedia artist from Sindhuli, Nepal, and a member of the indigenous Tamang ethnic group. With a background in audio production, this is his first film. He is currently Managing Director of the community radio station Radio Namobudhha.

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Director Statement

This is the first film about Nepal's revolutionary singer-songwriter Khusiram Pakhrin, and so far the only film that focuses on the songs of Nepal's Maoist movement. From the 1980s through 2006, their live performances were often banned and rarely photographed or recorded; hence we rely on Khusiram Pakhrin and his fellow performers for oral history and rare photos and footage of underground performances.

Bhakta grew up hearing Khusiram Pakhrin's songs, and found them incredibly moving. Anna first heard his songs during Nepal's People's War, around 2004, and recognized in them a depth of feeling and poetic imagery beyond the usual fare of political protest music. Bhakta began to make a documentary about Khusiram while Anna was digitizing his photo archive; we met through a mutual friend who thought Bhakta should interview Anna for the film. Shortly after the interview, Khusiram suddenly passed away. When we met again, we joined forces to make this tribute to him and his songs. We thank his family, party, and fellow artists for their generous assistance with this film.