Film review: Viramundo (NC)

 

Musician (and ex-culture minister) Gilberto Gil embarks on a globetrotting tour of the indigenous musics of Brazil, Australia and South Africa, a documentary crew in tow. His mission is to – what, exactly?

The film doesn't seem to know, but lollops around after him like an obedient hound: here's Gil chatting with an Aussie minister, Gil with an aborigine playing a didgeridoo, Gil looking beatific amid a sea of smiling faces.

The talk is of identity and consciousness and the need to come together, most of it blamelessly sincere and utterly unfocused. Best to do one thing really well. Whenever Gil plays and sings, the film soars; when he's drifting around in vague ambassadorial style, it goes straight back to sleep.

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