The Blues A Musical Journey: The Soul of a Man

Film, Drama

Time Out says

Wenders was among the European baby-boom generation that resurrected the music of the Depression era blues musicians long since forgotten by their own countrymen. Here he digs up three favourites - Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James and JB Lenoir - and retells their stories through a mix of pithy re-enactments, archive recordings and film footage, Fishburne's sympathetic narration and a raft of contemporary re-interpretations by the likes of Beck, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, Cassandra Wilson, Los Lobos, Lucinda Williams, T-Bone Burnett and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Slight in shape and modest in its claims - there are gestures towards cultural contextualisation (the Depression, the Civil Rights struggle and the John Mayall/Cream/Newport '64 revival, the treasure chest recordings sent out to the stars with NASA's Voyager 1 that included Johnson's 'Dark Was the Night'), but Wenders never elaborates the point - it is at least a film with real feeling for its subjects.

By: NB


Release details

90 mins

Cast and crew

Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
Chris King
Keith B Brown
performers Lou Reed
Lucinda Williams
Cassandra Wilson
Alvin Youngblood Hart
Shemekia Copeland
Eagle-Eye Cherry
Vernon Reid
James Blood Ulmer
Los Lobos
T Bone Burnett
Bonnie Raitt
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Marc Ribot
Garland Jeffreys
Skip James
Laurence Fishburne
Nick Cave The Bad Seeds
JB Lenoir
You may also like