The power of song to communicate, motivate, console, unite and, ultimately, beget change: that ideal, gloriously realized, lies at the heart of director Lee Hirsch s inspiring feature film documentary Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony. Winner of the Audience Award and Freedom of Expression Award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, Amandla! tells the story of black South African freedom music and reveals the central role it played in the long battle against apartheid. The first film to specifically consider the music that sustained and galvanized black South Africans for more than 40 years, Amandla! s focus is on the struggle s spiritual dimension, as articulated and embodied in song. It is unlike any other film yet made on the subject of apartheid, and an electrically expressive portrait of South African life then and now.
In form as well as content, Amandla! breaks new ground. Beginning with its dynamic opening title sequence, Amandla! harnesses the visual and sonic power of cinema to create a powerfully emotional viewing experience. Vivid, color-drenched cinematography flows like song, complementing an innovative narrative that combines original footage, breathtaking musical numbers, archive and haunting reenactments to celebrate the resilience of the human spirit throughout the decades-long struggle for freedom in South Africa.