Sacred Sounds

Columbia College instructor Carmine Cervi traveled to Fez, Morocco, in 1999 to document the annual Festival of World Sacred Music, founded a decade ago to celebrate Islamic, Christian, and Judaic music (and to dampen the anti-Islamic rhetoric surrounding the gulf war). His video includes great performance footage and fascinating images of Fez, but they're too often interrupted by voice-over from various experts. The commentators do provide an occasional gem (the difference between blues and gospel, says one, is “whether or not you use the Lord's name in vain or in praise”). But in the end the video encapsulates the music rather than expanding one's sense of it, and Cervi never explores the festival's characteristically Islamic myopia toward other world religions. With Miriam Makeba, Noa, Sheikh Yassin, Avay-e-Douste, Montserrat Caballe, and Liz McComb. 58 min.

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