THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE
Documentary – 2016 – USA – 96 Minutes – The Orchard – PG-13
Over the past 16 years, an extraordinary group of musicians has come together to celebrate the universal power of music. Named for the ancient trade route linking Asia, Africa and Europe, The Silk Road Ensemble, an international collective created by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, exemplifies music’s ability to blur geographical boundaries, blend disparate cultures and inspire hope for both artists and audiences.
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the latest film from the creators of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom and the critically-hailed Best of Enemies, follows an ever-changing lineup of performers drawn from the ensemble’s more than 50 instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution.
Blending performance footage, personal interviews and archival film, director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays from across the globe to create an intensely personal chronicle of passion, talent and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind.
Directed by Morgan Neville
A first-rate music film capturing a restless desire to communicate beyond the boundaries of any single idiom. – The Hollywood Reporter
An aural celebration that’s about using the past to break free of boundaries. – Variety
Morgan Neville’s documentary is a joyous revelation, a group portrait of superb musicians from all over the world offering music as an emblem of what people can do in these fractious times when they live in concert with one another. – Wall Street Journal
If the screen went dark during “The Music of Strangers,” that would be a disappointment. But if the sound failed, that would be a tragedy. – New York Times
There have been plenty of documentaries about the artistic process and the cultural influence of musicians, but few are as impactful as this glimpse into the healing and the uniting power of music. – Cinemalogue
The greatest language known to mankind is front and center in this ebullient doc, charting a band formed by that eternal wunderkind, Yo-Yo Ma. – Film Journal International
NOW PLAYING – ENDS THURSDAY, JULY 28