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Blue Notes and Exiled Voices
Time Out says
An informative, well-made documentary from the Ceddo workshop about the experience of exile of the generations of black South African musicians who have emigrated to Britain since the mid-'50s. It's a mixture of talking head interviews, archive footage, stills and well-integrated performances - from the Mervyn Africa Quintet, the Brotherhood of Breath, and the Hugh Masakela Band (which ends the film with a deeply expressive rendition of 'Healing'). The interviewees came over in different waves: Masakela as a reaction to the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, for instance, and many others to join their already exiled friends; many stayed - like Pinise Saul - after London shows such as King Kong and Ipi Tombi. Mervyn Africa describes the stresses - SA was never out of their hearts - and how too many of his fellow musicians have died young. The film sheds additional light on the pervasive tragic effects of apartheid.