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Genghis Blues (1999)

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San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Richard Feynman ...
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The extraordinary odyssey of a U.S. musician of Cape Verdean ancestry to Tannu Tuva, in central Asia, where nomadic people throat sing more than one note simultaneously, using vocal harmonics. A bluesman, Paul Pena, blind and recently widowed, taught himself throat singing and was by chance invited to the 1995 throat-singing symposium in Kyzyl. Helped by the "Friends of Tuva," Pena makes the arduous journey. Singing in the deep, rumbling kargyraa style, Pena gives inspired performances at the festival, composes songs in Tuvan, washes his face in sacred rivers, expresses the disorientation of blindness in foreign surroundings, and makes a human connection with everyone he meets. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

28 October 1999 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Dzsingiz blues  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,606 (USA) (9 July 1999)


$323,881 (USA) (24 March 2000)

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Did You Know?


Director Christopher Nolan receives one of his earliest credits on this documentary, when he is listed under 'Editorial Assistance'. When he spent 3 years in Chicago as a child, he was friends with Roko and Adrian Belic and the three of them made short Super 8 movies together. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

An inspiring movie
31 December 2000 | by (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie shows the best parts of humanity: the seemingly random attraction of the protagonist to another culture, the amazing talent which allows him to absorb a completely different musical idiom merely by listening to it, the amazing warmth of the cultural hero of a small, proud country, the pride and acceptance of the Tuvan people. These all combine with the unseen presence of one of the greatest American scientists to form a unique movie.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Can you sing it Tuvan-style? mfdesimone
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