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 Gorée), 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 bedrock of controversy, the album courted objections from multiple countries: Americans objected because of their post-9/11 tendencies to attribute Islam to violent extremism; Senegalese DJs and radio-station proprietors objected given the odd discomfiture associated with playing religious music about Allah alongside often-racy selections by other acts. Even more significantly, N'Dour inadvertently carried this controversy a step further by performing live during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- thus infuriating Senegalese religious conservatives. The film witnesses N'Dour confronting these challenges head-on and, incredibly, surmounting them with great ease and finesse.
- MPAA Rating: PG
- Genre(s): Documentary
- Run Time: 102min.
- Theatrical Release Date: 06/12/2009
- DVD Release Date: 04/06/2010
- Distributor(s): Shadow Distribution
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
- Themes: Musician's Life,Spiritual Awakening
- Tone: Passionate
Africa, Islam, Senegal, album, controversy, musician, recording, tenor, world-music
- Country of Origin: USA - Limited (06-12-2009),USA - Expanding (07-03-2009)
- Language: Arabic,English,French,Wolof