Paul Simon’s Grammy Award®-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, Paul 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 the acclaimed musician 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, Peter Gabriel, Harry Belafonte and Sir Paul McCartney share their thoughts on what the album meant to them.
“Enlightening documentary… Reconciliation is the theme of this movie about a work of art whose every riff and playful verse embodies the idea of music’s healing powers.” (The NYTimes)
“The affection between the musicians and Simon is clear. The portrait that emerges time and again is personal and a reflection of the realities of apartheid.” (Los Angeles Times)
“It’s a pleasant surprise that Under African Skies not only draws attention to the controversy surrounding its subject matter but digs into it a little.” (Village Voice)
“Powered by Paul 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.” (Rolling Stone Magazine)
Tuesday, August 13
Doors 6:15 pm | Movie 6:45 pm *Start time subject to change
Advance tickets $10.50 HERE | $12.50 at the door
*Minors welcome in the balcony! Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service and main floor seating.
**Rio Theatre Groupons and passes OK. Please redeem at the door.
UNDER AFRICAN SKIES (Joe Berlinger, 2012/ 102 mins / PG) Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic “Graceland” album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime. On the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon‘s GRACELAND, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger offers a glimpse at the controversy surrounding the decision to record the album in South Africa despite a UN boycott of the nation, which was aimed at ending apartheid. In the run-up to an eagerly anticipated reunion concert, Simon, Quincy Jones, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney and others reflect on the decision to record with local artists in South Africa, and the cultural impact of the album that delivered such hits as “I Know What I Know” and “You Can Call Me Al.”