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This is a great pilot for a show that I really hope gets further funding. Its goal is to cover world music with 15 to 20 minute long segments that focus on the musicians and the people who produce and support them. The pilot has three sections all of which I found fascinating.
First is "A Man Like Putin" which goes to Russia to cover modern Russian propaganda music. The song "A Man Like Putin" has topped the charts in Russia and glorifies Vladimir Putin, former president and current (as of 2010) prime minister of Russia. Members of the all woman band are interviewed as well as the writer of the song and the producer. There is also an interview with an outspoken radio personality who is a critic of Putin and the song.
The second segment, "Black President" goes to Lagos, Nigeria to explore the music of Seun Kuti, the son of Fela Kuti who was a legendary afrobeat pioneer. The interviewer goes to Seun's home where a large practice session with his band takes place. They also travel to a large night club where Seun performs. A history of Fela's music and political ideology is presented as well.
The third segment is titled "Oh, Kazakhstan" and covers the problems that were created with Erran Baron Cohen's spoof Kazakh national anthem for the Borat movie. A famous Kazakh violin virtuoso named Marat Bisengaliev challenged Baron Cohen to write a serious symphony based on Kazakh themes to make amends for his perceived insults. Baron Cohen proceeds to do this and the reporter is present for the first performance in Kazakhstan.
The show ends with a performance by Portuguese fado singer Mariza.
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