Sheffield, ZagrebDox, Tempo Docs
A Korean opera singer forms a children’s choir in the slums of India.
Hyewon Jee’s film follows the efforts of opera singer Jae-Chang Kim – nicknamed “Angry Bird” by his students for his quick temper – to demonstrate the value of music to a community of underprivileged parents in Pune, India. Though the Banana’s Children Choir he created has won acclaim internationally, affording his young singers the opportunity to travel beyond their country and, more importantly, to aspire to a more hopeful future, Kim still experiences resistance from some of their parents, who don’t see any immediate financial gain from the activity. His solution: To bring the parents into the choir for a special performance for Pune’s mayor and Korean dignitaries. Jee profiles a few too many subjects, resulting in a more cursory survey rather than a deeper sense of any individual, but the overall impression is a hopeful one about the positive impact of culture.