Brass Unbound | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


European colonizers brought brass-band music to Nepal, Suriname, Indonesia, and Ghana; this 1993 documentary presents the often amazing results of its subsequent transformations. The video eschews a rigid structure, simply presenting the music as deeply integrated into daily life in each place. Ambient traffic and industry noise blends with the sound of outdoor concerts; a long take from the point of view of a tuba on a roving vehicle suggests how music brings the town to life. Diverting details like a woman feeding animals during an outdoor concert bespeak director Johan van der Keuken's holistic nonhierarchical vision. In Dutch and assorted unidentified languages with subtitles. 105 min. Gene Siskel Film Center.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment