search

Sound of the Soul

An interfaith celebration of song

Sound of the Soul
There's a moment in "Sound of the Soul" when you stop looking at the subtitles. You don't need them when the Frasa Group from Morocco works itself into a frenzy of spiritual chanting, shifting forcibly from one note to the next in near unison. No matter your religion or lack thereof, it's no longer about the words or deities or beliefs, but rather the transcendent power of music.

In Stephen Olsson's 2005 documentary, the Moroccan city of Fez hosts an annual summer gathering called the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music. For eight days and nights, a vast lineup of musicians from all over the globe play to a rapt crowd, dotted with scientists, artists, religious leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Fez, we learn, is an ideal spot for such a mash of cultures and religions, given its founding in the ninth century by Sufis who made devotional singing a cornerstone of their spiritual practice. And the city is renowned for its tolerance of different faiths: "In a world still bleeding from religious misunderstanding, hatred, and violence, the Fez Festival takes place in an Arab country where Jews, Christians, and Muslims have lived together in relative peace for centuries," the narrator intones.

Olsson wisely trains his cameras on the musicians in action, often giving them three or four uninterrupted minutes to play. Many of them hail from Morocco and other parts of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. There's diversity within that array (from Anuna's celestial Irish choral singing to mournful fado from Portuguese singer Katia Guerreiro), but notably absent are groups from Asia and Latin America. Only one combo, the McCollough Sons of Thunder, a brass band from New York City, represents the United States.

The film works best in the musicians' own words about why music truly is the universal language of mankind, as Henry Longfellow once wrote. Mauritanian singer Dimi Mint Abba says, "What I think about really depends on the song I am singing. I have conversations with God."

Or Mohammed. Or Allah. Or Buddha. It's practically all the same to these musicians, and that's why their songs never get lost in translation. (J. Reed, Boston Globe)

Sound of the Soul

Sun October 14, 2007, 7:00 only, The Film Studies Theater in ATLAS 102

USA, 2005, English & Arabic/Persian/French w/subtitles, Color, 70 min, Unrated, DV-Cam (1.66:1)

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Radio 1190
Boulder Weekly
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).


Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

Z-briefs
: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists