USA | 68 MINUTES | Arabic, English, French |
SOUND OF THE SOUL
The global rise of religious fundamentalism and its frightening effect on international politics can make mutual respect and dialogue between people of different cultures and faiths seem like an impossible dream. But as this thoughtful documentary shows, music is a language that is understood by every faith. At the center of the film is the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco, a week-long concert that brings together an astonishing array of musicians, including a female-led Sufi group from Afghanistan, a choir dedicated to ancient Russian church music, an all-brass gospel group from New York, and a French-Algerian Jew who sings in Andalusian with Muslim musicians. But perhaps the most remarkable element of Stephen Olsson's touching documentary is that this rich musical event engenders real conversation, a characteristic that seems to spring organically from the essence of the city of Fez, which was expressly founded on the principles of religious tolerance and learning. To complement the musical footage, the film shows religious leaders, scholars, and representatives from both the World Trade Organization and the World Bank engaged in discussions about how to make inter-faith dialog and spirituality the guideposts for moving forward in an ever-globalizing world. A moving testament to the healing power of music, Sound of the Soul offers a microcosmic vision of what a culture of tolerance can achieve and gives hope that such an approach might spread to the world outside Fez.