2011 Sundance Docs in Focus: SING YOUR SONG

The second of three musician-related projects in the US Documentary Competition, Susanne Rostock’s Harry Belafonte biography, SING YOUR SONG, covers far more than the man’s performing career, focusing in large part on his steadfast activism across numerous social justice issues.

Sundance Program Description:

Wonderfully archived, and told with a remarkable sense of intimacy, visual style, and musical panache, Susanne Rostock’s inspiring biographical documentary, SING YOUR SONG, surveys the life and times of singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer, inspired by Paul Robeson, and his experiences touring a segregated country, to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte’s groundbreaking career personifies the American civil rights movement and impacted many other social-justice movements. Rostock reveals Belafonte as a tenacious hands-on activist, who worked intimately with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and took action to counter gang violence, prisons, and the incarceration of youth.

Because of his beliefs, Belafonte drew unwarranted invasions by the FBI into both his personal life and career, which led to years of struggle. But an indomitable sense of optimism motivates his path even today as he continues to ask, at 82, “What do we do now?” His example may very well inspire you to action.

Some Background:
First-time director Rostock is an Emmy and IDA Award-winning editor whose career spans decades, collaborating most notably with Michael Apted on a number of projects, among them THE POWER OF THE GAME ME & ISAAC NEWTON. Among her Producers are Harry Belafonte’s daughter, Gina Belafonte; Michael Cohl, who has produced or executive produced a number of music documentaries, including SHINE A LIGHT and PETE SEEGER: THE POWER OF SONG; and William Eigen, who also produced the latter film.

Why You Should Watch:
Even if you are already aware, as many are, of Belafonte’s involvement in various causes, seeing what the man has been involved in over the course of his lifetime is truly inspiring.

Screening Info:
For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph above.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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