- Friday, Mar 4 3:40 PM until Thursday, Mar 10 11:10 PM
- 506 Bloor St. W. @ Bathurst, Toronto
Song of Lahore is a documentary film directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken. The film follows a group of musicians as they travel from their home in Pakistan to New York City to perform at Lincoln Center.
With its ancient palaces and stately gardens, the Lahore of Pakistan’s 1947 independence was a haven for musicians, artists, and poets. The city came alive to the beat of a tabla drum; with a musical culture passed down over centuries and a thriving film industry, opportunities were great for the legion of musicians that called Lahore home.
Following the imposition of Sharia law in the late 1970s, this Lahore only exists in memory. Today, this vision of Lahore exists only in myth. Islamization, ethnic divisions, war and corruption have torn apart the cultural fabric of Pakistan, and the sounds of the tabla no longer drift through the old city’s bazaar.
In 2004, Izzat Majeed founded Sachal Studios to create a space for traditional music in a nation that had rejected its musical roots. After convincing a number of master musicians to pick up their instruments again, they quietly released some classical and folk albums. But it is an experimental album fusing jazz and South Asian instruments that brings Sachal Studios worldwide acclaim. Their rendition of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five becomes a sensation, and Wynton Marsalis invites them to New York to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. After a groundbreaking week of rehearsals fusing the orchestras from Lahore and New York, the musicians take to the stage for a remarkable concert.
The ensemble is faced with a daunting task; to reclaim and reinvigorate an art that has lost its space in Pakistan’s narrowing cultural sphere. With immense skill and enjoyment, directors Andy Schocken and Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy bring the story of an ensemble looking to reclaim and reinvigorate their sound in one country’s narrowing cultural sphere.
Director(s): Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Andy Schocken
Where: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
For more information on showtimes, please click HERE.