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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Documentary

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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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Did You Know?

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 »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, Heart Wrenching.
27 January 2007 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

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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