Escape From Luanda (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Escape From Luanda (2007)

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The Music School of Luanda, Angola, in south-central Africa clocks in as a surprising anomaly on many levels. Though statistics accurately paint Luanda as one of the most crime-ravaged and impoverished cities on the continent (with a history of bellicosity and bloodshed) - rendering it an unlikely Petri dish for "experimental" or "special" education - innovative educators established the Music School as a unique way for local individuals of all ages with aspirations in vocal or instrumental performance to find a direct path out of the dead-end hopelessness of the city, and thus achieve some deliverance from their surroundings. With his Escape From Luanda, documentarist Phil Grabsky visits the said institution and creates a biographical portrait of three adult students enrolled at the school, each clinging to a longstanding dream: Joana yearns to establish herself as the first prominent female rock 'n' roll drummer in Angolan history, and indeed divorces her husband to make it happen; Alfred must buck the incredulity of his skeptical (and deeply religious) father to unequivocally prove that a career as an Angolan classical concert pianist is both possible and viable; and pianist Domingas, fresh from walking out of a resolutely unhappy marriage, attempts to simultaneously put herself through school and raise her five children as a single parent. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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