Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2003
Karoo Kitaar Blues
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Durée : 90 minutes
Genre : musical
Type : documentaire


Une sorte de « Buena Vista Social Club », version sud-africaine.

Réal : Liza Key
Afrique du Sud,2003
En anglais et en Afrikaans, sous-titré
1h00 min & 1h30, couleur, vidéo


Karoo Kitaar Blues
A South African « Buena Vista Social Club ».
« Karoo Kitaar Blues » is a rousing documentary about a group of wildly talented but utterly isolated musicians who eventually come to tour South Africa to rapturous crowds.

In the Karoo, a spare and desolate swath of South Africa, tobacco farms, cattle ranches, and bare plains dominate a landscape populated by white landowners and poor, Afrikaans-speaking, « colored » farm workers. In their isolation, these workers evolved a unique musical style played on homemade instruments, the Karoo kitaar blues. In this film, part music documentary and part road movie, musician David Kramer seeks out the Karoo’s hidden artists, offering a rare glimpse into a distant social and musical world.

The Khoi and the San – who are the most fundamentally dispossessed people in South Africa – were also the first citizens to fight white domination and the first to welcome and initiate black Bantu people into their land – they taught their countrymen to respect the gifts this country has to offer and that freedom is having full ownership of the land you live on. David Kramer has been known for recognizing with respect the hidden music of people in South Africa. Thanks to this film, those musicians are getting the airtime they so profoundly deserve.

Inspired by the’old music’ played on homemade instruments, South African songwriter David Kramer and slide guitarist Hannes Coetzee journey into the’backveld’ of South Africa in search of local musicians to perform with them. Many of these self-taught musicians, descendents of the Khoisan, are getting on in years, so there is a sense of urgency in finding the Karoo Kitaar music before it is forgotten. From rural towns to a concert hall in Capetown, we encounter amazing talents and stories, where music is a central part of daily life.

Dir: Liza Key
South Africa/2003
In English and Afrikaans, with subtitles
60 min., color, video

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of South African freedom, SABC1, South Africa’s most watched channel, recruited and trained promising new directors to tell the stories of their ten years of freedom on film.

2004 – South African Film Festival, New York
North American Premiere
Tuesday, April 27, 2004 7:00pm
Saturday, May 1, 2004 10:00pm