Songs of the Earth, an animated film that explores the far-reaching impact of climate change, has been released on YouTube. The film marks the directorial debut of Soumik Datta, the 37-year-old musician, sarod specialist and composer whose credits include the music travelogue Rhythms of India and the EP Jangal, which also explored the damage caused by global warming and deforestation.

Songs of the Earth was premiered at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, on November 2. Alongside the film’s premiere, Datta released an eight-track album of the same name, which is available on Spotify.

Soumik Datta. Photo by Souvid Datta.

Over 24 minutes, the film explores the journey of Asha, a girl who is looking for her father. Asha’s journey takes her from the Sundarbans in Bengal to the polar ice caps and past sweat shops and cities ravaged by the assault on the environment.

“At the heart of the film and the album is a question – is our behaviour as a people sustainable?” Datta said in a press note. “As consumers, many of us are part of a cycle of buying and discarding – and somehow the photos of polluted oceans, landfill mountains and toxic rivers don’t always connect back to us.”

The film has been animated by Sachin Bhatt and Anjali Kamat from India. It was produced by Soumik Datta Arts, Earth Day Network, The Space and Hawkwood Centre with the support of the British Council’s Creative Commissions programme.

Songs of the Earth (2021).

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‘Nothing stays stagnant in culture’: Sarod player Soumik Datta on BBC series ‘Rhythms of India’