April - May 2019
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Paris Song

JEFF VESPA
Kazakhstan, 2018
90 minutes, Color

Paris Song recreates the amazing but true story of Amre Kashaubayev, a young musician from the bleak steppes of Kazakhstan who found himself competing at the 1925 Paris Expo. Sanjar Madi is completely convincing as Amre, wide-eyed at being dropped out of nowhere into the modern world. With his haunting singing and mastery of the traditional two-string dombra, Amre captivates the international sophisticates, including George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Josephine Baker, and photographer Lee Abbott. Set against Stalin's brutal regime, which seeks to crush the fledgling Kazakh independence movement, Amre is threatened by Soviet officials who have their own singer in the competition. He is also exhorted by the exiled leader of the Kazakh resistance, also in Paris, who sees hope in the young man's triumph. The many musical numbers are exquisitely performed, especially the energetic jams between Amre and Gershwin, musical worlds colliding wonderfully. —Dave Nuttycombe

In English and Kazakh with English subtitles


Thursday, May 2
8:30 PM
Friday, May 3
6:30 PM