P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
April 25, 2003
Sundance-Winner at MASS MoCA on May 1, 2, 3
(North Adams, Mass.) MASS MoCA concludes its popular Cinema Lounge series with a grand finale by screening the much talked-about winner of both the Audience Award and the Freedom of Expression Award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony will be shown at 8 P.M. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; May 1, 2, and 3. Nine years in the making, this ambitious documentary explores South Africa's anti-apartheid movement through the moving and eloquent songs that inspired and were inspired by its members' continuing fight. The New York Times called it "a testament to the enduring potency of music."
The Times went on to say, "The film ends on a truly joyous note, a 1995 political rally at which a beaming, dancing Mandela joins the choir onstage as it sings a victory song before the country's first democratic elections. It is a truly transcendent moment, an almost Hollywood ending to a story of pain, conflict, and struggle."
Director Lee Hirsch, then 20 years old, left for Johannesburg with the phone numbers of two local contacts and just $600 in his pocket to pursue an obsession, the popular music that had sprung up around and stirred the anti-apartheid movement. "There was an urgency in the music that appealed to me," according to Hirsch. Nine years later his feature length documentary is a moving history of that struggle as well as an in-depth examination of some of the most passionate music coming out of Africa today.
Named for the Xhosa word for power, which became a rallying cry, Amandla! studies the music of the movement through the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, the 1970s movement of the African National Congress towards armed conflict, and the white government's declaration of a nationwide state of emergency. The film also includes interviews with a substantial cross section of the people who lived through the era -- musicians, white riot policemen, African National Congress activists, a former death row prison warden. South African native Dave Matthews' ATO Records is releasing the soundtrack to the film.
The showing is part of MASS MoCA's Cinema Lounge series which featured music documentaries in Club B-10, the revamped B-10 theater. As always, Lickety Split will provide dinner and snacks before and during the show. Full bar is also available. The Cinema Lounge series has been sponsored by Berkshire Gas and supported by Holly Angell Hardman.
Tickets for Amandla! are $5.50. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release