Sunday, June 16, 2024

SOLDIERS OF SONG (2024) Tribeca 2024

I enjoyed being at the World Premiere of SOLDIERS OF SONG. Being in the room with people fighting for their country, listening to them sing and play music after the film was a deeply moving experience. It was something that made the war in Ukraine very real- and I got chills when the audience erupted in cheer for Ukraine. It was one of the most special evenings I've ever had at the movies.

Unfortunately the film itself is mess and desperately needs to be recut. 

The film is a nominally a look at the men and women who are keeping morale up by playing music for the people of Ukraine on the front line and at home. We get to see lots of people playing music and we hear how some have fallen in battle.

The problem is the editing of the film is a mess. Cut like a thirty second music video/recruiting commercial the film is the wrong sort of propaganda. Forgive me for phrasing it like that, but it's true.  It's big and flashy and it wants to hook us and drag us along.  The problem is that the film never really gives us any sense of anyone on screen. The living are too busy either performing or trying to tell us something. The dead are eulogized as a fallen warrior but we get no real sense of the terrible loss. Everything is a montage of music and image but no details or anything that would give us a sense of the person we are seeing.

I've seen a couple of documentaries on people performing for the soldiers of Ukraine and we got a sense of the performers and the soldiers we meet, we never get that here.

Forgive me. While I am 100% for Ukraine (my family has roots there) the fighters and musicians on the front lines deserve better.

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