Amandla! A Revolution In Four Part Harmony [DVD]
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The story of South African freedom music and the central role is played against apartheid.
The stunning documentary Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony tells the story of protest music in South Africa--but as it does so, it tells the story of the struggle against apartheid itself, for the music and the revolution are inseparable. Through archival footage and interviews with musicians, freedom fighters, and even members of the former government police, Amandla! creates a vivid and powerful portrait of how music was crucial not only to communicating a political message beyond words, but also to the resistance itself--how songs bonded communities, buoyed resistance in the face of bullets and tear gas, and sowed fear in the ruling elite. Part history, part musical exploration, part sheer force of life, Amandla! captures both the sorrow and the triumph of life in South Africa from the 1950s to 1990, when Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress came into power. --Bret Fetzer
- Aspect Ratio : 1.77:1
- MPAA rating : s_medPG13 PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 3.84 Ounces
- Item model number : Relay Time: 103 min
- Director : Lee Hirsch
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 48 minutes
- Release date : October 21, 2003
- Actors : Duma Ka Ndlovu, Vusi Mahlasela, Walter Cronkite, F.W. de Klerk, Abdullah Ibrahim
- Dubbed: : French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish
- Producers : Desireé Markgraaff, Johnathan Dorfman, Lee Hirsch, Sherry Simpson, Temple Fennell
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unqualified
- Studio : Artisan / Lionsgate
- ASIN : B0000C2IWO
- Writers : Lee Hirsch
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #85,330 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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For the most part, these are not "We Shall Overcome" or "Kum by Ya" type of anthems (though that's cool in it's place). This is hardcore, fight-the power, we ain't gonna take it type of music. Sibongile Kumalo's song about the struggle near the end of the film will bring tears to your eyes-first for the beauty of her voice and THEN when you read the translation! The sequences of the Toyi-toyi (the war dance of S/A) are inspirational and revealing, as is this DVD itself.
Moving scenes abound. A picture is shown of a beautiful S/A teenager sitting prettily on a sofa, then the camera pulls back to reveal that she has a machine gun next to her. One young lady, crying at the funeral of a comrade in the midst of the struggle cries, "I wish I were a dog! I wish I were cattle grazing in the grass!" If you can watch scenes like that with a dry eye then something is WRONG with you!
We also have some extra-rare footage of the young Nelson Mandela (in 1961, prior to his imprisonment) telling of his views on the choice of violence or nonviolence. There is also footage of his sentancing in 1964 and his eventual release. The scenes of his dancing in celebration are a sight to behold!
But enough of this. Get it and see and hear the power that music has over the human spirit! I'd give it ten stars!
There are many emotional moments - moments of despair, moments of joy. People such as Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masakela and Abdullah Ibrahim speak candidly about their exile, and their love for their country. The songs, such as "What have we done ?" and the "Toy Toy" song and dance are also the heroes of this film, as well as a collection of freedom fighters who all speak with great eloquence and sincerity. (It should be noted that Jesse Jackson who is listed as one of the "stars" - is actually shown for no more than 5 seconds).
The film is an inspiration to any lover of freedom, in a period where despair may seem a reasonable conclusion. If you love freedom and you love music - get this DVD.
This film should be in your collection if you appreciate freedom and value history.
But I wanted more. I almost wish this unique documentary recorded even more of the music to express the evolution of the anti-apartheid movement, instead of how changes in the movement fueled changes in the music. Easier said than done with such rich material. Clearly this was a massive undertaking - especially when listening to the revealing commentary from director Lee Hirsch and producer Sherry Simpson-Dean. I've been following their careers for quite awhile and hope to see much more from their partnership.
Thank you Mr. Nelson Mandela for your life .........................