Anup Singh was born in Tanzania and graduated from the Film & TV Institute of Pune, India. He is a British citizen and resides in Switzerland since more than 16 years. Anup’s first feature-length film Ekti Nadi Naam (2001) was invited to more than 30 festivals and awarded Best Debut Film in India. Anup’s second feature, QISSA had its World Première at Toronto 2013, and was the Hubert Bals opening film at Rotterdam 2014. The film is critically acclaimed, receiving more than fifteen awards to date. The Song of Scorpions is Anup’s third feature-length fiction.
The Song of Scorpions is peopled with those who betray and are ruthless in their desperate desire for love. But this tale is also about those who steadily make themselves worthy of the gift of song and hope even as their world collapses around them.
The tale unfurls like a folktale, where superstition and fact, love and vengeance often mirror each other: the monstrous path that the protagonist, Aadam, chooses to gain possession of Nooran finally leaves her but only one way to free and redeem her body and herself – her act of vengeance has to match his savagery. She has to dispossess him of everything that now has value and meaning for him as he did her. And yet, the tale also affirms that however savage and grotesque life might be, the voices of exaltation and good humour, compassion and insatiable creativity are irrepressible.
To complement the ferocity of the tale, the film builds itself with the versatile rhythms and large- heartedness, the tenderness and the respect for life suggested by the mystic affirmation of the cosmos at the heart of all folk music.
The film patterns itself like the music of Rajasthan’s desert civilization. Like the music, perennially suggesting a reality much larger than the apparent, the film comes together with tiny details, microscopic close-ups of sand and face, wood and vigorous body, wavering shadows and resilient light and colours which could suddenly open into the monumental, volatile landscape of menace and unpredictability, a landscape of urgent question: What is possession and what is love? What will we choose when we seek to really understand what makes us human: revenge or compassion?