Under African Skies

Under African Skies Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Paul Simon’s Grammy-winning album Graceland – an irresistible and groundbreaking fusion of American and South African pop music — was an immediate hit when it was released in 1986. It also proved to be a lightning rod for controversy, after South African leaders protested that Simon hadPaul Simon’s Grammy-winning album Graceland – an irresistible and groundbreaking fusion of American and South African pop music — was an immediate hit when it was released in 1986. It also proved to be a lightning rod for controversy, after South African leaders protested that Simon had broken the cultural boycott of the nation’s oppressively racist apartheid regime. In the documentary Under African Skies, premiering at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Simon returns to South Africa, which formally ended apartheid in 1994 — 25 years after Graceland‘s release. Director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) follows Simon as he reunites with his South African collaborators, and revisits the controversy the album caused, while luminaries like Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Lorne Michaels, David Bryne and Sir Paul McCartney share their thoughts on what the album meant to them. (Radical Media) Collapse

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 12, 2012
    91
    The result is doubly satisfying: We get not only a trenchant political drama but a bang-up concert film as well.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 10, 2012
    90
    The film skillfully interweaves several strands to tell a true story with a happy ending.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 10, 2012
    88
    Powered by Simon's brilliance, Under African Skies is a cultural lightning bolt that soars on its music and an unshakable belief in the transcendence of art.
  4. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    May 8, 2012
    80
    A pure-bliss celebration of Paul Simon's landmark album Graceland coupled with an interesting if not unbiased look at the controversy surrounding its release.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    May 8, 2012
    75
    It does lightly suggest scintillating questions about the responsibility artists have in reflecting current political moments in their music.
  6. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    May 8, 2012
    70
    Under African Skies is appreciably smarter than most celebrity musician documentaries.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    May 8, 2012
    60
    Time and changing tides have been kind to Graceland (and to the local musicians who've since become internationally renowned), but an on-camera meeting between the songwriter and ANC leader Oliver Tambo finds their conflict between creative freedom and revolutionary solidarity fascinatingly unresolved.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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