Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sundance Film: Sing Your Song

Director: Susanne Rostock
Website: N/A

Summary: Wonderfully archived, and told with a remarkable sense of intimacy, visual style, and musical panache, Susanne Rostock’s inspiring biographical documentary, Sing Your Song, surveys the life and times of singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer, inspired by Paul Robeson, and his experiences touring a segregated country, to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte’s groundbreaking career personifies the American civil rights movement and impacted many other social-justice movements. Rostock reveals Belafonte as a tenacious hands-on activist, who worked intimately with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and took action to counter gang violence, prisons, and the incarceration of youth.
Because of his beliefs, Belafonte drew unwarranted invasions by the FBI into both his personal life and career, which led to years of struggle. But an indomitable sense of optimism motivates his path even today as he continues to ask, at 82, "What do we do now?" His example may very well inspire you to action.

Excitement scale (1-10): 4 – I’m going to admit, I’m not excited by this. I’m not entirely sure why either. Belafonte is certainly not a boring figure and he has a story worth exploring. Plus, Susanne Rostock has a background in editing so it’s safe to assume it is a well pieced film, but there is nothing outstanding or original from this film. Perhaps if it had a trailer or website it would garner more attention, but for now I’m placing it on the backburner.

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