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On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom (2000)

| Short, Documentary, Music
A profile of South African singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. They are best known for backing Paul Simon on his "Graceland" album.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Credited cast:
Joseph Shabalala
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A profile of South African singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. They are best known for backing Paul Simon on his "Graceland" album.

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Marvelous documentary about Ladysmith Black Mambazo, its music and the strength of the human heart and spirit.

This documentary, nominated for an Oscar, tells the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the South African singing group that gained much acclaim worldwide after Paul Simon incorporated their sound and music on his "Graceland" album. At the time, what Simon did was controversial, as it was viewed by opponents of apartheid as a violation of the cultural boycott of South Africa in effect at the time. This always puzzled me, because in no way, shape or form can this be seen as a project that benefitted the government of South Africa, while it can be seen as being a great boost to blacks in South Africa in general and the group in particular. The documentary shows the group in rehearsal and in performance and the music is marvelous. It shows quite forcefully that even under conditions designed to crush the human spirit and rob it of dignity, those who would seek to do so overlook the incredible strength and resilience of the human spirit, heart and mind. Most highly recommended.


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