Tuesday, March 4, 2008
This is a movie that I knew hardly anything about but knew I would love. The movie centers on two men who play the txalaparta and travel to various nomadic villages. They go all over the world from the Arctic Circle to Mongolia to the Sahara to the edges of India where they find people who are no longer part of traditional society. Most of them live in their own villages, others choose to wander. The two musicians go to these places in search of native sounds, be they musical or natural or both. Whenever they arrive in a village, they set out to use the local materials to create txalapartas. They end up making them out of ice, rocks, and bamboo, but each one always has a slight variation in sound from the traditional wood. I liked this movie not just because it's focus was on sound but also because it was the complete opposite of a plot driven movie. These men traveled, playing music for and with other people. To me, there was no greater message, never implying anything positive or negative. Although according to the film's website, "They use the music to say to the rest of the world: We are here, we are alive, we are who we are." I guess that would be a "message", but certainly one that's non-intrusive. This was definitely the best movie I viewed that was part of the film festival. I recommend it to all who are interested in music, sounds, and nomads.