His resolutely non-sentimental, carefully balanced, edited and photographed movie, three years in the making, had its roots in a fund-raising mission for the choristers’ orphanage. But he transcends his brief by virtue of his patient, sensitive interviewing style and the evident trust he builds up, providing an intimate portrait of the textures and rhythms of extended-family life (that of the Moya family) in the crisis-ridden South Africa hinterlands.
Most remarkable is the raw emotion he captures, noticeably in a series of close-ups of the resourceful young orphans themselves, whose faces sing with feeling as much as their voices. This sympathy and attention, incidentally, brings out something more universal: the fundamental role music plays for people in ritual, communication, celebration and the assimilation of pain and suffering. A very moving film.