|Under African Skies|
|Written by Staff|
|Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:08|
On January 22, 2012, "Under African Skies," the new Joe Berlinger-directed documentary chronicling the creation and lasting influence of Paul Simon's groundbreaking Graceland, will debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, kicking off a year's long celebration commemorating the 25th anniversary of Simon's musical and cultural achievement.
Following its Sundance premiere, "Under African Skies," one of the year's most eagerly anticipated documentaries, is slated for international film festival screenings and a limited theatrical run as well as airings on A&E.
The story of the making of Graceland, and the controversy created when Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists, is told in "Under African Skies," the new full-length documentary from two-time Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger ("Brother's Keeper," "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster," the West Memphis Three/"Paradise Lost" trilogy) and [email protected] and A&E IndieFilms.
Coming this spring, Legacy Recordings will release a Graceland 25th anniversary commemorative edition deluxe collector's box set as well as a special two-disc set, each featuring the original album with bonus tracks and the director's cut of "Under African Skies."
"Under African Skies" travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa 25 years after his first visit. Simon revisits 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.
The universal appeal of the music of Graceland proved more powerful and enduring than the political hotbed attending its creation. In 1986, the album sold 14 million copies worldwide, and received universal praise from critics around the globe. Simon and the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed on Saturday Night Live and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone.
By January of 1987, "You Can Call Me Al" was everywhere and Graceland won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 1987. Then, in an unprecedented carryover, the album garnered the Grammy for Song of the Year with its title track in 1988. The album generated three hit singles and kept Paul Simon and the Graceland tour on the road for five years.
In the film, Simon provides a fresh and revelatory perspective on the album while gathering the record's original musicians for a transcendental Graceland concert reunion. "Under African Skies" features 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.
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|Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:19|