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Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love (2009)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 25
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 4

It never gets close enough to its subject, and it's curiously light on music, but this documentary is nonetheless a long-overdue tribute to a brilliant musician.


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 2

It never gets close enough to its subject, and it's curiously light on music, but this documentary is nonetheless a long-overdue tribute to a brilliant musician.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 2,400

My Rating

Movie Info

As one of two major documentaries on hotly debated Senegalese world musician Youssou N'Dour to emerge within a year of one another (see also Youssou N'Dour: Return to Gor (C)e), this particular chronicle was produced and shot over a period of several years. Helmed by director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, it witnesses the evolution and production of N'Dour's June 2004 album Egypt, on the Nonesuch label -- the recording that details N'Dour fully expressing his newfound Muslim faith. A veritable

Apr 6, 2010


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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (4) | DVD (1)

By far the most powerful element is N'Dour's lone voice, a thing of high, pure beauty that feels at once ancient and new. When he sings, an otherwise earnestly conventional film becomes a vehicle of incantatory power.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This documentary by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi could have used more music for my taste, and fewer talking heads. But it's absorbing all the same. N'Dour is the sort of humanitarian bridge that we need in a world so sharply divided.

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Be sure to stay through the closing credits as the scenes of Senegalese life act as a captivating coda to a film pulsing with music and memory.

August 21, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Youssou N'Dour is a beautiful film to watch as it unfolds the life of N'Dour and, by extension, the lives of millions of West Africans who are anonymous to many in the West.

July 31, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

N'Dour is the film's unstoppable force, handsome and radiating joy. He's the kind of performer who is larger than life but always seems like one of the family.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although his movie often resembles the kind of promotional video one might find as an extra on a concert DVD, N'Dour in full throttle is a sight, and sound, to behold.

July 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Inspirational concert film.

September 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

When the music starts playing, it's easy to forgive the film's flaws.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

An inspiring and edifying cinematic exploration of the power of music and the soul of a big-hearted African Sufi singer who has used his exceptional talent and creativity to make a better world.

July 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Love looks and sounds great, but in depicting N'Dour as a lofty symbol for music's power to bridge worlds and inspire, it sometimes loses sight of the man.

June 25, 2009 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

While the rambling, repetitive look at his life off stage is unevenly edited, his music is gloriously heard and seamlessly presented to an appreciative global audience.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source:

Documentary about a great world-music performer is colorful but also suffers from a certain blandness and repetitiveness. A pure concert movie with biographical interruptions would have been preferable.

June 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A lively, soulful documentary that lacks sufficient insight into the life of Youssou N'Dour.

June 15, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Fans and newcomers to N'dour's music will be equally enthralled by the finely observed, patiently wrought documentary.

June 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It becomes gratingly obvious fairly early on that N'Dour's faith and nationality reside within the many nebulous blind spots of occidental awareness, to the point where filmed rituals virtually demand a glossary.

June 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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Foreign Titles

  • Youssou N'Dour: Rckkehr nach Gore (DE)
  • Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love (UK)
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