I'll Sing for You (2004)
In the early '60s, the West African nation of Mali was under French rule as its people struggled toward independence, and musician Boubacar Traoré became a star in his home country as its people dreamed of political freedom and better lives. Boasting a strong, blues-influenced voice and a hypnotic guitar style, Traoré -- better known as "Kar Kar" -- played music that showed the influence of the newer pop and rock sounds from Europe and the United States, and spoke of love and freedom in equal measure. However, at the height of his fame in Mali, Kar Kar disappeared; while he was a popular radio performer, he was unable to secure a record deal, and he was unable to support himself and his wife on his radio performance fees. Traoré became a tailor, and in time left Mali for self-imposed exile in Paris after the emotionally devastating death of his wife. Years later, a music producer who had heard recordings of Kar Kar's fabled radio performances offered him a chance to make an album, which led the artist back to Mali and the musical career he had abandoned. Je Chanterai Pour Toi is a documentary on Boubacar Traore's long road from fame to obscurity and back again, which features performances by both Traoré and fellow African guitar hero Ali Farka Toure. … More
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Critic Reviews for I'll Sing for You
Features not one word of comment from its subject, but it does offer plenty of musical numbers and an impressionistic portrait of his life and times.
Enjoyable if only to hear KarKar perform his mournful and personal songs, including a tender tribute to his late wife.
Jacques Sarasin's documentary blends the history of post-colonial Mali with the life of one of its most popular musicians, the guitarist and singer Boubacar KarKar Traor.
A musical biopic conceived as a lyric dreamscape, as a meditation on fate and faith.
The reverent pacing lags a bit, but the film's meditation on the struggle to find spirituality that reconciles Islam with tribal belief systems is powerful in its understatement.
A gentle portrait of a musician whose music provides a bridge from Africa to America.
Though Traoré never talks directly on camera, he speaks volumes through numerous bluesy tunes he performs for the film.
This graceful portrait of the great Malian singer and guitarist Boubacar Traore is also as a fascinating snapshot of Mali in the decades following the west African nation's independence from France in 1960.
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