Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony
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Lee Hirsch spent nine years putting together the ambitious documentary Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony. The film records the history of music being used as a form of social protest against Apartheid in South Africa. Interviews and archival footage help to tell the tales of figures like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Vuyisile Mini. Mini's songs became such a powerful social force that his remains were exhumed and reburied in order to show proper respect after the end of Apartheid. This look at political oppression and the courage required to fight it was… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The power of voices raised together comes through with a clear elation that's undeniable, and in the end Amandla! makes you want to sing."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"The sound of liberation, set to the beat of human destiny."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"This is an expertly assembled film, catching us by the throat early on with the deeply resonant songs and anecdotes, and then tweaking our minds as well."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"The film has its share of uplifting and emotionally satisfying moments, and the inclusion of performances by South African musicians surely makes it a must-see for die-hard fans."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"A remarkable and persuasive argument on behalf of music as a political weapon."
‑ Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Like going to the lecture of an impassioned but really disorganized professor. You exit class flipping through your notes and have no idea what most of them mean."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"A pleasure -- musically, intellectually and emotionally."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Director Lee Hirsch expertly weaves in historical footage, photographs and recordings, but the most poignant moments are when the camera is focused on people singing."
‑ Cheryl DeWolfe, Apollo Guide
"Directed by Lee Hirsch, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony is one of the best documentaries that focus on the grass roots of the music that told everyone and educated them about apartheid."
‑ Wilson Morales,
"This is powerful stuff, presented unblinkingly and yet with rousing ardour."
‑ Adam Nayman, eye WEEKLY
"A documentary that is as thoughtful and inspiring as the music it celebrates."
‑ Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"Whatever Amandla! lacks in cohesion is made up by the passion of those who lived through apartheid, and the power of their defiant, sad and joyous sounds."
‑ Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News
"Like the songs themselves, "Amandla!" tells a terrible story in a most enthusiastic and upbeat way."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"A fascinating and insightful film."
‑ Jack Garner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
"The word 'amandla' means power, and the music undeniably has that, but it lacks the archival footage to put the music in context."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
More reviews for Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony on Rotten Tomatoes