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Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2003)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 61
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 11

The powerful singing in Amandla makes for an uplifting, compelling documentary.

89

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 2

The powerful singing in Amandla makes for an uplifting, compelling documentary.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 947

My Rating

Movie Info

Lee Hirsch spent nine years putting together the ambitious documentary Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony. The film records the history of music being used as a form of social protest against Apartheid in South Africa. Interviews and archival footage help to tell the tales of figures like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Vuyisile Mini. Mini's songs became such a powerful social force that his remains were exhumed and reburied in order to show proper respect after the

Oct 21, 2003

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All Critics (67) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (11) | DVD (8)

The power of voices raised together comes through with a clear elation that's undeniable, and in the end Amandla! makes you want to sing.

March 21, 2003
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like going to the lecture of an impassioned but really disorganized professor. You exit class flipping through your notes and have no idea what most of them mean.

March 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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A documentary that is as thoughtful and inspiring as the music it celebrates.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The sound of liberation, set to the beat of human destiny.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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A pleasure -- musically, intellectually and emotionally.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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Whatever Amandla! lacks in cohesion is made up by the passion of those who lived through apartheid, and the power of their defiant, sad and joyous sounds.

March 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is an expertly assembled film, catching us by the throat early on with the deeply resonant songs and anecdotes, and then tweaking our minds as well.

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Director Lee Hirsch expertly weaves in historical footage, photographs and recordings, but the most poignant moments are when the camera is focused on people singing.

August 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Like the songs themselves, "Amandla!" tells a terrible story in a most enthusiastic and upbeat way.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

The film has its share of uplifting and emotionally satisfying moments, and the inclusion of performances by South African musicians surely makes it a must-see for die-hard fans.

May 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Directed by Lee Hirsch, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony is one of the best documentaries that focus on the grass roots of the music that told everyone and educated them about apartheid.

May 2, 2003 Full Review Source: BlackFilm.com
BlackFilm.com

A fascinating and insightful film.

April 25, 2003
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

A remarkable and persuasive argument on behalf of music as a political weapon.

April 25, 2003
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This is powerful stuff, presented unblinkingly and yet with rousing ardour.

March 25, 2003 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY
eye WEEKLY

The word 'amandla' means power, and the music undeniably has that, but it lacks the archival footage to put the music in context.

March 21, 2003 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's uplifting and lively and filled with fascinating characters, stories and songs.

March 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Don't miss this wonderful documentary.

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Reliably rousing.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

An unusually engrossing picture.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

A musical document in which determined warriors fire off centuries' worth of melodies like bullets from an AK-47.

March 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

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Foreign Titles

  • Amandla! (DE)
  • Amandla! (UK)
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