Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Genghis Blues

The first time I was introduced to throat singing was when the two musicians in Nomadak TX traveled to Mongolia. I was definitely intrigued, especially because so little of it was shown. And because of the minor throat singing aspect to Nomadak TX, it was an appropriate segway into the movie I watched the next night. Genghis Blues documents Paul Pena, a blind American blues man, who teaches himself Tuvan throat singing from only hearing 10 minutes of it on the radio. As much as this movie is about Paul Pena, it's also a movie about serendipity. After a series of coincidences, Paul ends up traveling to Tuva, a country located between Russia and Mongolia, and he's followed by a motley group of people who film his journey. They meet a famous Tuvan throat singer who shows them great hospitality, and Paul performs in a national throat singing symposium. It's certainly a movie with an original story line but also one that doesn't progress too much. Knowing what the movie is about ahead of time kind of spoils it. It's similar to seeing all of the good parts of the movie in it's trailer. I wasn't so much as waiting for the movie to end but more wondering how it was going to end. And of course, it ends with everyone going back to America. Not the most exciting conclusion, but with such a unique story, I guess it doesn't matter.

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