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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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Feynman ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Kongar-ol Ondar
Paul Pena
Aislinn Scofield ...
Herself
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

28 October 1999 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Dzsingiz blues  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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 »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A totally enthralling and touching film I'd love to see again.
12 March 1999 | by (Santa Barbara, CA) – See all my reviews

I can't recommend this doc. more highly. It's wonderfully warm, touching and fascinating all the way through. I saw it at the SBIFF where it was a last minute entry; had it been entered for the audience choice award I am sure we would have voted as did the Sundance audience! Genghis Blues tells us about Tuva, a remote area, bordering on the north of Mongolia. (Remember Richard Feynman and the book, Tuva or Bust?) This is the portrait of the amazing journey of blind San Francisco bluesman, Paul Pena, to the 1995 2nd International (UNESCO-sponsored) throat-singing contest in Kyzyl, Tuva. It's a triumph from start to finish. See it!


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