Bassist Yossi Fine in a still from the documentary Mandala Beats.(Courtesy Rebekah Reiko)
Bassist Yossi Fine in a still from the documentary Mandala Beats.(Courtesy Rebekah Reiko)

Bassist with Indian roots stars in documentary on Israeli musicians

Renowned bassist Yossi Fine, who is of mixed Lithuanian and Jamaican descent, recently found out that his great-grandmother was originally from India.
By Anirudh Bhattacharyya | Hindustan Times, Toronto
UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2017 09:34 PM IST

The closing night film for the 25th anniversary of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival has an unusual setting – India. The documentary Mandala Beats, directed by Montreal-based Rebekah Reiko, features celebrated Israeli musician Yossi Fine as he discovers his roots in India and undertakes his first journey to the country.

Fine is renowned as a bassist, having worked with David Bowie and Lou Reed, and Indian artistes like Anoushka Shankar. While he is of mixed Lithuanian and Jamaican descent, he found out a couple of years ago that his great-grandmother was originally from India when he was given DVDs of interviews with his parents.

“Sitting there and watching, all of the sudden I realise, my great-grandmother, my mother’s grandmother, from her father’s side, came from India. I was floored because I never knew about this, nobody talked about it,” Fine said in an interview.

Somewhat serendipitously, a few months later, he received an invitation to perform at a festival in Jodhpur. “Wow, I have to go to India. I always wanted to but all of a sudden it was way, way stronger,” he said of his reaction.

Just as fateful was his encounter with Reiko, as they were taking the same flight from Tel Aviv to Mumbai in the autumn of 2015. Reiko was focused on making a film about Israeli musicians and their Indian influence. “I thought making a movie about music in those two places, with distinct styles mixing together, would be so cool,” she said.

And after talking to Fine, she settled upon the central character for the film: “He told me his whole story (during the flight) and that was part of the reason why I wanted to focus on him.”

The film accompanies Fine as he hones in on Indian rhythms prior to his performance in Jodhpur and for an impromptu concert of sorts on the banks of Ganga in Rishikesh.

Director Rebekah Reiko while filming the documentary Mandala Beats. (Courtesy Rebekah Reiko)
Director Rebekah Reiko while filming the documentary Mandala Beats. (Courtesy Rebekah Reiko)

That makes for a movie that is visually strong and one that comes with its own soundtrack, created along the way. Reiko said the two locations were “both very contrasting” and added, “I definitely focused on such extremely beautiful places in the country, for sure.”

Fine said finding himself in India seemed “very natural.” As he recalled, “When I came to India it was incredible. It was like a missing part of something I was looking for.”

Musically, he found that bass wasn’t integral to Indian music, folk and classical. As he had previously worked on music in the Sahara, particularly in Mali, he incorporated that into his sessions with Rajasthani players: “My approach was to borrow a little bit from African music and apply it to Indian music.”

Fine looks forward to more visits to India in the future, as he said, “India is a special place with special energy. I will be back for sure.”

The film is a joint Canadian/Israeli/Indian production, and Reiko said while a few scenes were set in Israel, “the majority of the film was filmed in India.” It will be screened on May 14, the last day of the festival which begins this Thursday.

Reiko, meanwhile, said her initial objective had been realised as her film has such a prominent place at a major film festival in Canada: “I learnt so much from my travels through India. I felt like including that in a film so I could share that with others.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Shraddha Kapoor at Priyaank Sharma and Shaza Morani's wedding.
Shraddha Kapoor at Priyaank Sharma and Shaza Morani's wedding.

Inside Priyaank, Shaza Morani's wedding: See Shraddha's toast, first dance

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 11:47 AM IST
  • Priyaank Sharma and Shaza Morani hosted a Christian-style wedding ceremony in the Maldives this week. The couple exchanged their vows at a beach ceremony, and danced to Ed Sheeran's Perfect.
Close
Here are top entertainment news stories.
Here are top entertainment news stories.

Amazon issues apology for Tandav, Fans say Heropanti 2 poster is like Hitman

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 11:33 AM IST
From Amazon Prime issuing a new apology for their web show Tandav to Tiger Shroff unveiling the poster of his film Heropanti 2, here are top entertainment news stories.
Close
Kangana Ranaut disapproves of achievers wearing 'torn American jeans'.
Kangana Ranaut disapproves of achievers wearing 'torn American jeans'.

Kangana shames modern achievers for wearing 'torn jeans', Twitter unearths pics

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 11:27 AM IST
  • Twitter users reacted after Kangana Ranaut shamed 'achievers' of today for wearing 'torn American jeans and rags like blouses'. Some found pictures of Kangana herself wearing the clothes that she described.
Close
Harshdeep Kaur and husband Mankeet Singh have welcomed a baby boy.
Harshdeep Kaur and husband Mankeet Singh have welcomed a baby boy.

Harshdeep Kaur welcomes baby boy, says 'our Junior Singh has arrived'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 11:26 AM IST
  • Singer Harshdeep Kaur and husband Mankeet Singh have welcomed a son. They had earlier shared several posts trying to guess the baby's gender, wondering if the child would be a 'Singh' or a 'Kaur'.
Close
Sunny Leone and Daniel Weber have three children.
Sunny Leone and Daniel Weber have three children.

Sunny finds husband wearing nothing but a hat, shoots video for world to see

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:45 AM IST
  • Sunny Leone 'found' husband Daniel Weber wearing nothing but a strategically placed hat, and decided to shoot a video of him for her Instagram followers.
Close
Mohit Chadda stars in Flight.
Mohit Chadda stars in Flight.

Flight trailer: Mohit Chadda stars in airborne thriller

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:36 AM IST
  • The trailer for Flight, a new film starring Mohit Chadda, has been released. Watch here.
Close
Shabana Azmi often shares throwback pictures from the 1970s and 1980s.
Shabana Azmi often shares throwback pictures from the 1970s and 1980s.

Shabana Azmi shares rare black and white throwback pic, see here

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:33 AM IST
  • Shabana Azmi shared a rare throwback picture from the golden era. While there are number of well-known faces in the picture, she mentioned how she failed to recall who the Soviets were in the picture.
Close
Shraddha Kapoor grooves to the song, Kamariya, in Maldives.
Shraddha Kapoor grooves to the song, Kamariya, in Maldives.

Shraddha Kapoor dances to Kamariya as she rings in 34th birthday in Maldives

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:31 AM IST
  • A video of Shraddha grooving to Stree song Kamariya during her birthday celebrations in Maldives has appeared online.
Close
Ibrahim Ali Khan is the son of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh.
Ibrahim Ali Khan is the son of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh.

Ibrahim lets his hair down at wedding of Capt Amarinder Singh's granddaughter

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:13 AM IST
  • Ibrahim Ali Khan attended the wedding of Punjab CM Amarinder Singh's granddaughter recently, and pictures of him having a good time have surfaced online.
Close
Priyanka Chopra in London.
Priyanka Chopra in London.

Priyanka steps out for a walk in London, flashes pendant

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 09:50 AM IST
  • Priyanka Chopra and mother Madhu Chopra were recently spotted taking a walk on a London street. The actor is in the UK for the shooting of spy series, Citadel.
Close
Tiger Shroff, Krishna Shroff and Disha Patani spotted in Mumbai
Tiger Shroff, Krishna Shroff and Disha Patani spotted in Mumbai

Tiger birthday dinner: Disha-Krishna walk hand in hand, mom joins them too

UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:50 AM IST
  • Tiger Shroff, mom Ayesha Shroff, sister Krishna Shroff and rumoured girlfriend Disha Patani came together for the actor's birthday dinner.
Close
In a viral video Rahul Vaidya was seen praising Aryan Khan.
In a viral video Rahul Vaidya was seen praising Aryan Khan.

Rahul Vaidya lavishes praise on Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan in this viral video

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 08:47 AM IST
  • In a viral video, Rahul Vaidya of Bigg Boss 14 is seen narrating an incident about how he met Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan at a city lounge and how the singer was impressed by star kid's humility and patience.
Close
Aly Goni and Jasmin Bhasin enjoy their time together.(Instagram)
Aly Goni and Jasmin Bhasin enjoy their time together.(Instagram)

Aly Goni shares pic with Jasmin Bhasin, says 'we are our own world'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 08:18 AM IST
  • Aly Goni has posted a new photo with close friend and Bigg Boss 14 co-contestant Jasmin Bhasin. Check it out here.
Close
Kavita Kaushik had also accused Abhinav Shukla of drunkenly texting her.
Kavita Kaushik had also accused Abhinav Shukla of drunkenly texting her.

Bigg Boss 14's Kavita Kaushik names and shames online abusers, shares screenshot

UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 07:25 AM IST
  • Former Bigg Boss 14 contestant Kavita Kaushik has shared screenshots of the abusive messages she received on social media. "Call them out! Expose them!" Kavita wrote.
Close
Shraddha Kapoor is the daughter of actor Shakti Kapoor.
Shraddha Kapoor is the daughter of actor Shakti Kapoor.

When Shraddha was proud of Shakti, wanted him as her dad in next birth too

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 07:12 AM IST
  • Shraddha Kapoor turns 34 on Wednesday and to celebrate we are revisiting the time she told her father, Shakti Kapoor, how proud she was of him.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP