Lee Hirsch
USA/South Africa
o.v. English/Afrikaans
sbt. French/German






AMANDLA! A Revolution in Four-part-Harmony

An inspiring celebration of music as a weapon of the struggle, the film chronicles how changes in the lyrics, rhythms and melodies of liberation songs reflected the radicalisation of black resistance in response to ever-harder crackdowns by apartheid state. In the context of the defiance campaign era of the 1950s, jaunty ditties warned “Watch out Verwoerd, the black man will get you”; the Sharpeville massacre prompted a series of dirges, and the 1976 riots saw the emergence of songs full of youthful dynamism, expressing anger and disaffection. Interviews with South African music greats – Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Sibongile Khumalo – interspersed with disturbing footage of key events, makes for a compelling and novel retelling of this significant chapter of South Africa’s past. Nine years in the making, the film joyously honours music as one of the struggle’s most powerful weapons.

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