Monday, Oct 30, 2017 7:30p -
376 Trapelo Road
Belmont, MA 02478
$11 general admission and $9 for students and seniors in advance online at www.belmontworldfilm.org/tickets.html and $12 and $10, respectively, at the door starting at 7:00 PM.
Belmont World Film presents “Don’t Stop the Music,” a two part film series about musicians whose artistic freedoms have been limited due to restrictive governments, at the Studio Cinema in Belmont (376 Trapelo Road) on two Mondays at 7:30 PM. The films—SONG OF LAHORE, about the Sachal Jazz Ensemble in Pakistan on October 23, and MALI BLUES, about four musicians in Mali on November 6—are being shown in conjunction with two World Music/CRASHarts concerts: the Sachal Jazz Ensemble on Sunday, October 29, at the Berklee College of Music, and Malian guitar virtuoso Habib Koité, one of the leading figures in Afropop, on Saturday, November 11, at the Somerville Theater. Both film screenings are sponsored by WBUR-FM.
Directed by two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken, SONG OF LAHORE covers the formation of Pakistan's Sachal Jazz Ensemble, a group of classical virtuoso musicians that formed in secret in response to the country’s military coup in July 1977, when General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq became president and set out to "cleanse" Pakistan's cultural landscape. Most non-religious music was declared sinful in Lahore and even virtuoso musicians had to become taxi drivers or shopkeepers just to keep food on the table. When Izzat Majeed founded the Sachal Ensemble, he sought out the city's great musicians, many of whom had permanently put away their instruments. Initially, the ensemble focused on the region's classical and folk music, but then Majeed started to dream about jazz being played on local instruments. As they searched for a broader audience outside Pakistan, the group began to explore cross-cultural versions of Western jazz standards, pop, and film classics.The Sachal Jazz Ensemble emerged internationally in 2011 with an ambitious recording covering Western jazz standards on their traditional instruments. Their unusual angle on Dave Brubeck’s hit Take Five went viral, earning them worldwide recognition and an invitation from Wynton Marsalis to perform at Lincoln Center. The film follows their journey from the band's creation through their trip to New York and its aftermath. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by a speaker to be determined. The 10-piece group is visiting Boston for the first time as part of their first US tour with a repertoire that mixes traditional Sufi music, ragas, and beloved Pakistani film songs with uniquely South Asian spins on Western classics, such as The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby, R.E.M.'s Everybody Hurts, Michel Legrand's The Windmills of Your Mind, and of course, Take Five.
MALI BLUES, directed by German documentary filmmaker Lutz Gregor, follows four artists from the West African country of Mali, widely considered to be the birthplace of the blues that was later carried by the transatlantic slave trade to America's cotton fields. Yet today, the music and musicians of Mali are in grave danger. As fundamentalist Islam and Sharia law become more widespread, dance and secular music are prohibited, musical instruments are destroyed, and musicians are forced to flee their homeland. The featured musicians, including rising global pop star Fatoumata "Fatou" Diawara (memorably featured in Abderrahmane Sissako's acclaimed drama TIMBUKTU), celebrated ngoni player and traditional griot Bassekou Kouyate, young street rapper Master Soumy, and guitar virtuoso Ahmed Ag Kaedi, the leader of the Tuareg band Amanar, each combine rich musical traditions with contemporary influences, using their music to stand up to extremism in their country and inspire tolerance and peace. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by a speaker also to be determined.