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Storyville

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Storyville

Susanne Rostock (2011)

104min
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Review

Our Score
The life of singer, actor and political activist Harry Belafonte contains enough material for three documentaries, but this joyful and inspiring portrait couldn't be bettered. As a Grammy-award-winning singer, he crossed colour lines and used his fame to promote folk and roots music. As an actor, he studied with Marlon Brando and starred in the ground-breaking all-black 1954 musical Carmen Jones. But it is as an activist that Belafonte will leave his legacy. Mentored by Paul Robeson, Belafonte has been a confidant of Martin Luther King, a Unicef goodwill ambassador and a perennial critic of US foreign policy; his fierce sense of justice standing firm through decades of worldwide political and social change. The incredible archive footage gathered by director Susanne Rostock is impressive enough - including a bullish Belafonte bending a nervous JFK's ear - but what stays longest in the mind is the conscience and spirit of the man. Still youthful in his 80s, Belafonte remains committed to just causes with the passion of someone half his age.

Summary

Documentary telling the life story of Harry Belafonte. The film examines his childhood in Jamaica and his rise to fame in the jazz and folk clubs of New York's Greenwich village, as well as his influential role in the black civil rights movement. Featuring contributions from the singer and his family, as well as Sidney Poitier, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Whoopi Goldberg and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Cast & Crew

Harry Belafonte Harry Belafonte
Director Susanne Rostock

Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Verve Pictures Guidance: Some violence, swearing. Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 8 Jun 2012

Music Documentary

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