Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony

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Released 2002

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Movie Summary

Director:
Lee Hirsch
Released:
2002
Rating:
PG-13
Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony is a 2002 documentary film written and directed by Lee Hirsch that depicts the South African black resistance movement against the apartheid regime from a musical perspective. Music played a vital role in the black citizens' lives during oppression and denial of their basic human rights. Songs that contain messages of freedom and equality accompanied South African blacks during hard times of imprisonment, discrimination and violence, and provided them with hope for a light at the end of the long tunnel. The documentary includes raw material extracted from archives, interviews with famous musicians, activists and civil right fighters, as well as original music performances. Music artists and singers who took part in the struggle include Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Vusi Mahlasela and Hugh Masakela, among others. A mixture of original African rhythms and Christian hymns, South African black freedom music played an essential role in overcoming adversity and maintaining an optimistic spirit for oppressed people. This politically sensitive documentary received wide international recognition including several awards at film festivals.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    The film they have put together is dense with sound and information, but it moves with a swift, lilting rhythm that is of a piece with the musical heritage it explores.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It leaves you stirred and uplifted not only by its music but also by the determination and courage of the people who sang and danced it on the way to a freer life.

  • 90

    Variety David Rooney

    Exhaustively informative and powerfully emotional.

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    Categories

    Documentary, Drama

    Themes

    Culture, History, Historical