While you would think that WHISPER OF THE MARIMBA is going to be about the musical instrument the reality is that the film casts its net much wider. While nominally the story of three generations of musicians trying to make their way in the world, the film is actually a look at how culture forms who we are and our place in the world. The film is specifically on Afro-Ecuadorians, but the film speaks to a larger audience, with the marimbas of the film’s title acting as a bridge between Africa and South America since the instrument spans continents.
I really liked this film a great deal. I liked it so much that I watched some sections more than once just because. I liked the film not just because of the music, but mostly because of the people. I fell in love with everyone in it. I just liked hanging out with them as they talked about life and made music.
I also loved that this is not a slick American film. WHISPER is a German produced documentary with the result that we see things with a slightly rough edged sensibility. The result is a sense of life beyond the frame that is frequently missing from many other documentaries.
The film is playing at the Chain Film Festival and is recommended.
The film is streaming now or it can be seen in person Monday the 23rd. For more information or tickets go here.