Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, July 12:
I AM THE BLUES
SXSW, Hot Docs, Pan African, Raindance, Salem, Docs Against Gravity, IndieBo
An ethnomusicological tour of the American South.
As signaled by his film’s title, Canadian filmmaker Cross explores the enduring legacy of the blues, not by offering a comprehensive history of the distinctly American genre, but instead by focusing on the aging musicians who are still performing, and, in so doing, keeping their artform alive. Traveling throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, the filmmaker profiles several old-school African-American musicians, many in their 80s, who grew up with the blues by playing the Chitlin’ Circuit, usually barely eking out a living. While Cross offers audiences a showcase of their talents in several demonstrations of their performances – too many in a film nearing two hours – the project’s survey structure and a surfeit of subjects results in a lack of deep exploration or any strong story-driven thread. Still, music fans will likely find much to enjoy in this loving tribute.