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This drama movie manages to tell a story about the affective dimensions of illegal immigrantion with the use of contrasting musics as a key element. An middle age academic, who is grieving the death of this piano playing wife, finds himself involved with an young ‘illegal’ man and woman. The man is a dejimbe player and gets ‘caught’ by the US immigration authorities… I’ve already said too much!

At least for white academics, it communicates illegal immigration on a deeper level than any factual screed. The agit-disco angle is that classical piano music is set against the agitational rythmns of Fela Kuti, and in particular street dejimbe players in New York. The dejimbe music becomes the route to feeling and intimate connection between cultures and situations.

Agit Disco has been criticised for taking musics our of context and making the politics individuated in terms of tracks – the film remedies this in that there is little or no focus on tracks and the music is important in the politicising of the academic but is all embedded in contexts.

One Comment

    • szczelkuns
    • Posted March 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm
    • Permalink

    See also:
    The Band’s Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret)
    is both a clever, subtle slice-of-life comedy, and poignant cross-cultural exploration.

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