“To have no memories is to have a naked soul,” declares Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca. “I want to clothe my soul, to be a black woman adorned with life.” Marc Dixon's video on Baca is that rare thing, a music documentary that significantly deepens one's appreciation for the subject's art. At a place where black slaves once pressed grapes, Baca explains that one root of her music is the drumming that accompanied such work, then sings a lilting melody as a drummer beats out a simple rhythm. When Baca explains that she cannot sing without simultaneously using her body to express herself, Dixon's camera deftly captures the connection between her expressive voice and the subtle changes in her posture. In Spanish with subtitles. 57 min.
By Fred Camper