Amandla! [Original Soundtrack]

Amandla! [Original Soundtrack]

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Just as the mesmerizing film is much more than the story of the struggle against apartheid or a history of South African freedom songs, Amandla! is much more than a soundtrack. Suffused with aching sorrow and spine-tingling joy -- both of which mask the simmering rage of repressed black South Africans -- the soundtrack is more of a companion to the film. Those

Overview

Just as the mesmerizing film is much more than the story of the struggle against apartheid or a history of South African freedom songs, Amandla! is much more than a soundtrack. Suffused with aching sorrow and spine-tingling joy -- both of which mask the simmering rage of repressed black South Africans -- the soundtrack is more of a companion to the film. Those bewitched by the revolutionary music, from Township jive to jazz to the unstoppable toyi-toyi, that galvanized South African resistance over a half century of struggle will find even more to enchant here. Judiciously choosing from the nonstop barrage of sweet, soulful music that is the movie, the soundtrack features many of the same stirring songs in alternate versions. For example, the anthemic "Y'zinga," rendered a cappella by Miriam Makeba onscreen is presented in righteous harmony by the Robben Island Prison Singers. Hugh Masekela's "Stimela" is preceded by the trumpeter's introduction of the song at a live 2000 concert, but the version that follows is the gorgeously hued 1974 original. Other transcendent tracks come straight from the film, notably the plaintive poems of Vusi Mahlasela, the funky piano jazz of Abdullah Ibrahim, and the powerful choirs of the Soweto Community Hall and the African National Congress. Spoken interludes add to the mix of studio tracks, live performances, and field recordings, providing a kaleidoscopic listening experience that's as moving as it is beautiful. Movie soundtracks are rarely this thoughtful, or affecting.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Todd Kristel
The soundtrack to Lee Hirsch's documentary is recommended to people who enjoyed the film and anyone else who's interested in South African freedom songs. As noted in the album's liner notes, this is "only a snapshot of South Africa's musical landscape." It is mostly limited to protest music and is not as good an overall album as The Indestructible Beat of Soweto, for example. But it does feature a fine assortment of carefully chosen tracks that flow together relatively smoothly despite the differences in musical styles and recording dates (which range from "Meadowlands," released as a single in 1955, to tracks recorded in 2000 and 2001). It offers listeners a chance to hear studio and field recordings, chants and choral pieces, spoken word snippets, prison singers, and internationally renowned artists such as Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Hugh Masekela. It also serves as a showcase with several tracks by Vusi Mahlasela, whose credentials include guest vocals on the Dave Matthews Band's Everyday and a performance at Nelson Mandela's inauguration as president. The songs on this album are unified by an inspiring desire for freedom that makes Amandla! more than just a musical sampler and historical overview.
USA Today - Mike Clark
Director Lee Hirsch's documentary tells how protest music became the mechanism for survival during the four decades of South Africa's apartheid. It's a story in which people are killed, and people sing. It's one in which men, starting with Nelson Mandela, tough it out on one level, while imprisoned women have babies. Full of celebrated people unknown to many Americans, the movie also features Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela, who both charted U.S. pop hits while living in exile.
The Fader
The Sundance award-winning documentary, Amandla!, examines the symbiotic relationship between song and struggle in South Africa's journey to liberation. The music of the struggle -- subtitled in the doc and released in full on the soundtrack -- underscores the militancy of the movement's final push in the '80s. Sonny Nguvu

Product Details

Release Date:
02/04/2003
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0791022151022
catalogNumber:
21510

Tracks

  1. Amandla!
  2. When You Come Back
  3. Lizobuya
  4. Meadowlands
  5. Sad Times, Bad Times @@Original Cast Of King Kong
  6. Senzeni Na?
  7. Beware Verwoerd (Naants' Indod'emnyama)
  8. Y'zinga @@Robben-Island Prison Singers
  9. Stimela
  10. Injambo/Hambani Kunye Ne-Vangeli (The Stomps...Carry the Word of God)
  11. Mannenberg
  12. Nkosi Sikelei
  13. Thina Lomhlaba Siwugezi (We Have Cleansed This Soil)
  14. Mayibuye
  15. Thina Sizwe @@SABC Choir
  16. Folk Vibe No. 1
  17. Dubula Ngesi'bam (Shoot With the Guns...)
  18. Sobashiya Abazale @@Amandla Group
  19. Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)
  20. Did You Hear That Sound (Dreamtime Improv)
  21. S'bali
  22. Makuliwe
  23. Bahleli Bonke
  24. Kuzobenjani Na?
  25. "You Strike the Rock..."
  26. The Untold Story
  27. Iyo @@Harmonious Serade Choir
  28. Usi Letela Uxdlo (Nelson Mandela Brings Us Peace) @@African National Congress Choir
  29. Toyi-Toyi/Kramat

Album Credits

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Amandla! [Original Soundtrack] 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amandla!, the film, is the winner of the Audience Award and Freedom of Expression Award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. It tells the story of black South African freedom music and reveals the central role it played in the long battle against Apartheid. The soundtrack is the heart and soul of this film. Filled with legendary freedom singers like Mbongeni Ngema, Vusi Mahlasela, and The African National Congress Choir, the soundtrack moves the listener, taking him or her back to this struggle for freedom in South Africa. The album is also a great introduction to South African musicians and their style of carrying a message of movement through song. Perhaps the greatest quality of this album is its ability to motivate. This is music of a movement, an epic movement. We can all learn from these musicians how music can be used as an engine of motivation.