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'Under African Skies'

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Reviewed by Josh Rosenblatt, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Under African Skies

24 Beats Per Second
D: Joe Berlinger

Fresh off completing his 16-year Paradise Lost trilogy, documentarian Joe Berlinger escapes with Paul Simon to South Africa, where the singer-songwriter celebrates the 25-year anniversary of his seminal album Graceland with a reunion concert and a reckoning. Using historical footage, present-day rehearsal scenes, and a long-simmering conversation between Simon and former Artists Against Apartheid founder Dali Tambo, Berlinger takes us back to the days when Simon's album was revered for its artistry even as its author was vilified for violating the UN's cultural boycott against South Africa. Simon comes off as a sort of musical savant, consumed both then and now with the process of artistic creation, yet oddly indifferent to the larger cultural concerns and political movements surrounding him. Under African Skies is both a joyous exploration of the creative act and an attempt at understanding the role of the artist in modern political life.


Friday, March 16, 8pm, Alamo Ritz

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