Notes for the eyes

Beyond Barriers

Notes for the eyes

enjoying A section of the audience.

While these films spoke about the musical journey of musicians from two different parts of the world, what remained common was the musical connect and the dedication with which these artists pursued their passion. During the screening, the audience experienced the impact of culture on music.

The first movie, Les Nubiens showcased the lives of an unconventional female duo from Bordeaux, in the 1990s. While the sisters, Célia and Hélène Faussart, sing in French, the film shows how their harmonies and melodic rhythms have managed to capture the hearts of fans all over the world.

The French-Cameroonian duo embodies a musical style that transcends nationality and language. And in an attempt to explain their own culture, they called themselves ‘Afropeans’. The duo’s music had a jazzy, sophisticated style of R&B that combines French lyrics with the influence of sade, soul, hip-hop and African pop.

An interesting thing to watch was that their French lyrics drew on the collective heritage of the African diaspora and explored themes like history, femininity and humanity, because of which their music couldn’t be called French pop.  

The second documentary, Une visite à Ali Farka Toure revealed the life of Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure, a pioneer of desert blues. In the film, The bluesman of the desert, as he is known in the West, speaks about his life and beliefs which are firmly rooted in his heritage and  also play a key role in his musical approach.

The lyrics of his songs are all about the land and the film draws us into his own story which involves the region, Niafunké in northern Mali, lying between the desert and the river Niger. Ali Farka Touré’s music is a magical hybrid of traditional sources and American soul and blues, which ends in soul-stirring music. You see him as a great international musician who has still remained true to his origins and used all his wealth for the betterment of the area.

Both the films showcased different styles of music but the message that came across very clearly was the great passion that these musicians have towards their art. The movies, though documentaries, were full of energy and were immensely enjoyed by the audience.

The music was peppy and it was evident that it goes a long way to unite the people across cultures, nations and societies.

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