Paul Simon Under African Skies on Blu-Ray
Full-Length Feature Documentary Examining the Making of Graceland, 25 Years Later!
The story of the making of Graceland, and the controversy created when Paul Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists, is told in Under African Skies, the new full-length documentary from two-time Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brothers Keeper, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, the West Memphis Three/Paradise Lost trilogy).
Under African Skies travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa 25 years after his first visit. Simon revisits the making of the record, surveying from the vantage of history, the turbulence and controversy surrounding the album's genesis. His artistic decision to collaborate with African musicians created a new world musical fusion, combining American and African musical idioms while igniting an intense political crossfire, with Simon accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designated to end the Apartheid regime.
The universal appeal of the music of Graceland proved more powerful and enduring than the political hotbed attending its creation. In 1986, the album sold 14 million copies worldwide, and received universal praise from critics around the globe. Simon and the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed on Saturday Night Live and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone.
By January of 1987, "You Can Call Me Al" was everywhere and Graceland won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 1987. Then, in an unprecedented carryover, the album garnered the Grammy for Song of the Year with its title track in 1988. The album generated three hit singles and kept Paul Simon and the Graceland tour on the road for five years.
In the film, Simon provides a fresh and revelatory perspective on the album while gathering the record's original musicians for a transcendental Graceland concert reunion. Under African Skies also features interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel.
"Unmissable, Under African Skies is a cultural lightning bolt that soars on its music and an unshakable belief in the transcendence of art." - Rolling Stone
"Brilliant! Required viewing! Not to be missed! One of the best rock-docs ever made!" - Access Hollywood