8.0/10
1,223
33 user 32 critic

Genghis Blues (1999)

San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva.

Director:

Roko Belic

Writer:

Roko Belic
Reviews

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Feynman Richard Feynman ... Himself (archive footage)
B.B. King ... Himself
Kongar-ol Ondar Kongar-ol Ondar
Paul Pena Paul Pena
Aislinn Scofield 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Wadi Rum Productions

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Tuvinian

Release Date:

28 October 1999 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Dzsingiz blues See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyzyl, Tuva Republic See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,606, 9 July 1999

Gross USA:

$323,881, 26 March 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the most inspiring movies I've seen!
3 October 1999 | by sreidSee all my reviews

The movie revolves around the country of Tuva in Central Asia. Tuvans have an unusual style of singing, throatsinging, which produces several tones at once, sometimes very high or low. A blind American bluesman, Paul Pena, teaches himself to sing this way, and ends up going to Tuva to compete in their triennial throatsinging contest.

The description of the movie does not come close to describing it. Somehow the late Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Richard Feynman is involved, and his curiosity and vision drive the events. The amazing talent of Pena is shown in an unexpected context. And the culture and worth of the Tuvan people, exemplified by their national artist, Kongar-ol Ondar, is highlighted.

This documentary shows what is best about the human race, how fate draws people together, and what we have in common in spite of our obvious differences. It is one of the most inspiring movies I've seen.


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