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Under African Skies (2012)

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Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the journey of his Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 11 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the journey of his Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.

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25 May 2012 (USA)  »

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13 Notes: Paul Simon's Graceland Journey  »

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About music, controversy and a different era
20 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

Under African Skies rises above the standard music documentary to celebrate an iconic artist and/or album. In this case, it is set against the controversy about working with South African artists in a time when there was a UN cultural boycott against South Africa. What is shown in this documentary is how the iconic Graceland album (released in 1986) came about and most importantly: how the tracks were created. Defying and defending the free spirit of an artist, Paul Simon, who is above all a musician and not a politician, brought his fascination and respect for South African talented musicians (Ray Phiri, Ladysmith Black Mambazo) to the world via this album. Old footage is interspersed with newly shot material of Paul Simon's visit, 25 years since he first set foot in South Africa, and playing again with these same musicians. Warning: it is not possible to view this documentary without humming, singing and dancing along with the songs : )


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