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Rachel Berman Benz,
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
Director 'Christopher Nolan (I)' qv 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 »
This is an excellent documentary, one of the best if not the best of 1999. Very sad, and moving as well as incredibly intriguing.
The film chronicles Paul Pena an old musician who was plagued by illness and blind from birth. While surfing on his ham radio Paul hears Tuvan throat singing and searches all over the place to find the source of this bizarre and fascinating music. He becomes a natural throat singer and travels to Tuva to compete in a competition.
Beautiful music throughout the film, and the Tuvan countryside looks as if it is a mystical land inhabited by friendly descendent's of Genghis Kahn who maintain a rich and textured culture.
This is worth while for anyone who is interested in music, documentaries or Tuva.
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