|Index||7 reviews in total|
I've seen several pieces entitled "Sing Your Song". This morning, I
think I found the most affecting one. It is dated 2011 and ends in a
way that invites more.
In the documentary, Belafonte captures the heart and soul of the Civil Rights Movement and embraces subsequent efforts to bring the world back to loving acceptance. I was there for the Civil Rights movement and can almost touch the feelings stirred up by the pastiche of images and sounds. I remembered, and then I learned.
I learned how the attempts to keep us separated from one another are playing out in today's world. And I learned how frustrating is the journey to find a unifying idea that will touch today's people. God bless Harry Belafonte, because he keeps trying to find that idea/ideal. He reaches more of us than he knows.
It isn't perfectly made - too much material, too little time. But see it for its impact on your spirit, and then begin to think what you can do.
"Sing Your Song" opened this years 11th Sundance Film Festival and was certainly an outstanding start! The film received a heart felt ovation at its conclusion. I had the experience of seeing Harry Belafonte in 1954 when he toured with dancers Marge and Gower Champion in "Three for the Show". Shortly afterward I saw him in the film "Carmen Jones" only to learn that his singing voice had been dubbed! From time to time I would see him in a film or on a TV presentation or hear some of his recordings. Not until seeing "Sing Your Song" did I have any idea of the greatness of this man. This is an outstanding documentary that gives the viewer a portrait of an artist who had dedicated his life to help people all over the earth. I've always enjoyed Harry Belafonte as an artist, but now I respect and admire him for being someone who has done a great deal to lift up the downtrodden. This is a film that will touch the heart and inspire one to do more to help their fellowman. A GEM!
I am in my early 30's. My parents and grandparents were around for the Jim crow and civil rights movement. This is a another documentary that I enjoyed watching. Harry Belafonte is more than just an icon, he is an example that all humans of all races can follow. He is an outstanding actor, but that is just a piece of what is really behind the man himself. He really stood in the face of racism, injustice, and poverty because he wanted a better life for himself and the people of this world. The life of family was always important to him and came first no matter the cause. Mr. Belafonte reminds me of my father in a sense. My father is no activist, but I respect him deeply for his views and opinions. I am not that or a pioneer, but I feel I can speak on things when needed. To Harry Belafonte, thank you for being a voice yesterday, today, and tomorrow!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This documentary, directed by Susanne Rostock, is a detailed look at
the great entertainer Harry Belafonte's career as well as his tireless
Born in Harlem into a broken family, Belafonte began working as a janitor's assistant. One day, he was given, as a gratuity, two tickets to the American Negro Theater. He was totally enthralled and eventually became a member himself, along with Sidney Poitier and Brock Peters.
Belafonte started to go to the NYC club the Village Vanguard, where he began to be influenced in his singing style by Huddie Ledbetter and Paul Robeson. As Robeson told Belafonte, you will find your own style and then you can "sing your song".
Given an opportunity to perform in a Broadway play for the first time, in "3 For Tonight", Belafonte was an instant sensation and even won a Tony award. He began to tour nationally in various shows, but it was here that he came across the horrors and humiliations of racism against blacks. This would spark his eventual activism and later he would become a stalwart of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's.
His record "Scarlet Ribbons" won him national recognition and later his calypso sounds such as "Day-o" would enable him to become a world famous performer. Surprisingly, he would also become a teenybopper idol at the time.
Alongside his artistic fame came Belafonte's brave and tireless efforts to help those in need. In addition to his leadership in the Civil Rights movement, he also became involved in the African independence movements, Native American rights, Ethiopian campaigns to help starving children, as well as trying to help those in Haiti. Still now, in his 80's he's working to end gang violence, change the skewed minority numbers in prison, and advocating for youth activism.
The film doesn't go too deeply into Belafonte's personal life but does have some interviews with his children and former wives, as well as some home movies. There are plenty of wonderful film clips of Belafonte's performances on stage, TV, and movies which brought back lot of memories for me.
All in all, I thought the documentary did a fine job at presenting this remarkable American icon and activist. I was engrossed throughout and felt I learned quite a bit as well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film brought tears to my eyes. I grew up listening to this man's music because my grandparents listened to his music, but I was totally ignorant about his life or level of involvement and influence in the civil rights movements of the 60's and ongoing fight until resent day. I had no idea bout his activism and amazing life. This film honestly has changed me and really allows me to focus on my dreams to help to create a better community. I have nothing but love and respect for this man. He is a living legend and carries an amazing legacy. Everyone should watch this film, it is extremely moving and profound a great education. Mr. Belafonte is a fighter for a better human condition. I have a new found love and respect for Harry Belafonte. He is one of the greatest human beings to walk this earth.
This is my first review of a film. I am a very avid film watcher never going a single day without watching at least one movie. I hope this lays an outline of my intense admiration for this film and Harry Belafonte. I was very surprised to not find this on any lists of amazing documentaries. The source material alone should garner a 7.5 rating let alone the fact we have the information given from the subjects own account. You ask anyone today white & younger than 30 who Harry Belafonte is and 9 times out of 10 you will get a look of confusion. This is almost devastatingly upsetting. I can't lie and say that I was not one of those people. Like most of my generation the knowledge of Harry stopped at Day-O or Beetlejuice. The influence this man had on our culture along with politicians and civil rights leaders should be public knowledge but I don't see this to be true. This documentary is important. The beautiful music may run in 2nd place in this film but it is rightly so. Harry who influenced people such as John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther king should be known for his unmatched kindness and insanely brave contributions to mankind. When I watch something that inspires me I become interested. When I watch something that reroutes the pathways in my brain I become obsessed. This film has done that. So, stop reading what someone as minuscule as me has to say and run to Amazon or Vudu and WATCH THIS FILM.
I've just viewed this superb documentary - it brings forth the remarkable life and man that is Harry Belafonte in a vivid and compelling manner. Sadly, however the entire widescreen (16x9) framed production presents it's archival clips and sequences (from early TV, movies, and news footage) in a hodgepodge of correctly re-adapted but otherwise visually distorted ways with no rhyme or reason. Much of the production is from archival sources - and so it's horribly distracting to see much of the footage in a vertically challenged way - stretched to fit the 16x9 frame. There is actually a shot of the sun that appears oval !!!! This is the sort of thing that is maddeningly now prevalent in so much of what is produced today -- but I didn't expect to see so much of it in a fine professionally produced and prestigious documentary such as this one.
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