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Under African Skies: Paul Simons Journey Back To Graceland [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Under African Skies: Paul Simons Journey Back To Graceland [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
  • +
  • Graceland - Classic Albums [DVD] [2001]
Total price: £19.31
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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Simon
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Sony CMG
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007P06DL8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,162 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Feature documentary in state-of-the-art 5.1 sound with bonus extended interviews. The story of the making of Graceland, and the controversy created when Paul Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists, is told in Under African Skies, the new full-length documentary from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, the West Memphis Three/Paradise Lost trilogy).
Featuring interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel, Under African Skies travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa, 25 years after his first visit, and recounts the making of the record, surveying from the vantage of history the turbulence and controversy surrounding the album's genesis. His artistic decision to collaborate with African musicians created a new world musical fusion, combining American and African musical idioms while igniting an intense political crossfire, with Paul Simon accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This documentary celebrates the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon's great Graceland' album. At the same time it questions
Simon's political choices in going to South Africa to record during the U.N. approved cultural boycott, seeking to keep South
Africa isolated and thus put more pressure on the white regime to step down.

Simon's reply is that artists shouldn't be subject to arbitrary political decisions - they must follow their heart and muse first, and
he did more to help raise awareness of South Africa by going than by staying away.

The film doesn't take clear sides on these questions and that's fine, a documentary doesn't have to take sides on such a morally
complex issue to be successful.

But there is something a bit slippery in Simon's somewhat pat answers that seem to be given a pass. And a meeting between Simon
and Dali Tambo, the South African head of 'Artists Against Apartheid' feels awkward and staged, each man explaining to the other their
point of view on what happened, ending with what felt like a very forced forgiveness hug.

Is the film letting Simon off too easily? Or is his very awkwardness Berlinger's point? (even his embraces of the musicians who played with
him on the album sometimes feel like they might not have happened if there wasn't a camera rolling) .

One telling detail, the fact that Simon took first credit on all the music, even though - as we hear some of the original pre-Simon
instrumentals from the album - we realize that many of the songs are almost identical, just somewhat re-arranged by Simon. Taking first
writing credit seems like an act of hubris that the film never mentions or questions.
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Format: Blu-ray
Graceland is a landmark in musical history. Paul Simon put together the unique African rhythms of some of South Africa's best artists and melded them seamlessly into Western pop music, enormously enhancing both. However, Graceland created huge political turmoil at the time of its release as South Africa was under a cultural and sporting boycott. This documentary tells the story of Graceland's creation from both sides of the political argument, but, without doubt, both sides ultimately benefitted from the resulting album. Many years after Graceland's release, it is still the highlight of Paul Simon's solo career and has made Ladysmith Black Mambaso and Ray Phiri into household names around the world.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have been a great fan of Paul Simon for years, and this dvd is certainly up to his usual standard, I love the fact that he was working with the south African musicians too.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I thought the Zimbabwe concert might have been on it. Never-the-less, it was quite a good documentary. I've already got a standard def copy of Graceland anyway.
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