Saturday, October 15, 2005

I know I'm not alone

Thursday night, Allison and I went to see the premier of "I know I'm not alone" at the Boulder Theater. The movie was made by Michael Franti, a hip hop/reggae artist. Franti is well known in Colorado and further west as a lively performer who can easily fill the large concert venues in Denver and Boulder.

The movie is a documentary about Franti's trip to Bagdad and the palestinian territories of Israel. He wanted to see what life was like for the people living in occupied countries. Of course, as a musician, Franti also brought his guitar. Many scenes show Franti playing music with people in there homes and in the street. People he does not know, and can not speak too, but the music brings people together.

Franti talks to everyone. The rich, poor, young, old, Americans, Iraqis, Israelis, Palestinians, civilians and military, he even does a concert for some US troops. As an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, he said "that was the hardest show I've ever done" but it is amazing to see how warmly he is recieved. He even makes some friends in the army, and they show up later in the film.

After the movie, Michael Franti came out on stage for a question and answer session about the movie and his trip. Franti is incredably brilliant, and it showed in his Q&A. The best example of this was when someone asked him "Where do you get your news? and which do you like better, Grass or Roots?" He laughed a bit, then answered "I assume you mean Bluegrass or Roots Reggae, and in fact I get my news from both of those places"

He followed the Q&A with an solo acoustic set. Franti is famous for his work with his band, spearhead. However, Franti solo acoustic was probably the best concert I have ever seen. Franti has the carisma and stage presence to energize a crowd. He turned the audiance into an insturment. Clapping, and chanting, and singing, created an atmosphere that was truely amazing. The entire venue was on their feet, dancing and singing along. The concert didn't end until 12:30a.

I would strongly encourage EVERYONE to see "I know I'm not alone" http://www.iknowimnotalone.com

For another review of the movie, visit http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05258/571541.stm

For more information on Michael Franti visit http://www.spearheadvibrations.com/index.html

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