San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva.San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva.San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva.
amazing story, subpar direction
The story of blind bluesman Paul Pena's trip to the little known republic of Tuva is certainly an unusual one. He learns about Tuvan throat singing by hearing it on a shortwave radio, learns how to throatsing himself. When a Tuvan throat-singing master visits the States, Paul and the singer encounter each other. Along with Friends of Tuva and a small film crew, Paul embarks on a trip to Tuva, meets the throat singer, and enters in a competition. Paul is a remarkably gifted musician, and the film manages to capture that as well as some of the pain, anxiety, and fear that he is feeling. Still, this documentary could have been filmed and edited in more capable hands. How Paul is feeling about his experiences as a blind person in a foreign place is not presented with the kind of power and clarity it could have been presented with. And the feeling arises watching the film that there are many elements to this story that the documentarian is not willing to explore. Still, Genghis Blues is a fascinating record of a meeting of cultures and musical styles.
- Oct 25, 2003
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