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Lomax the Songhunter

A film by Rogier Kappers

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Alan Lomax (1915-2002) devoted his life to recording the world's folk tunes before they would permanently disappear with the rise of the modern music industry. In LOMAX THE SONGHUNTER filmmaker Rogier Kappers follows the route that Lomax took across America and beyond its borders-traveling to remote villages in Spain and Italy, hearing memories and music from the farmers, shepherds and weavers whose songs Lomax recorded decades earlier.

The film also tells Lomax's story by interviewing friends such as Pete Seeger, using archival recordings of music greats Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, and gathering footage of the cotton fields, rock quarries and prisons where Alan Lomax captured America's quintessential music.

"Mr. Kappers, in an inspired stroke, travels to places Mr. Lomax visited during a long career of collecting the world's folk music on tape. He finds some of the people Mr. Lomax captured and plays the old recordings for them. Watching their faces light up is beautiful." —Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

 "Mr. Lomax ... says in archival footage that when he played back recordings of work songs by Texas prisoners breaking rock or Scottish women beating tartan, 'it changed everything for them.' Re-creating the power of those moments of recognition is the greatest strength of this moving work by Rogier Kappers." —Anne Bothwell, Dallas Morning News 

 "LOMAX THE SONGHUNTER profiles a larger-than-life figure who set out to do no less than 'capture the world' with his tape recorder. Dutch filmmaker Rogier Kappers… presents a wealth of footage he shot [following Lomax's] quest to capture the music and folkways of the world before they vanished." Chattanooga News Free Press

 "A warming presentation of the life of one of the most important musicologists in the world." —Anthropology Review Database

Gibson Impact of Music Award, Nashville Film Festival
Cine Golden Eagle Award
Golden Calf, Best Dutch Documentary, Nederland Film Festival
Emmy Award Nominee, Outstanding Art and Culture Programming
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Rotterdam Lounge
28th Cinema du Reel International Film Festival
North by Northeast Music Festival and Conference (NXNW)
Cologne Conference TV and Film Festival
Melbourne International Film Festival
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Calgary International Film Festival
DOK Festival Leipzig
Sao Paulo International Film Festival
FID Marseille
Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, BAFICI
Biografafilm Festival, Bologna, Italie
Guangzhou International Documenatray Film Festival

95 minutes / Color
Dutch / English subtitles
Release: 2014
Copyright: 2005

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This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
American Studies, Biographies, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Ethnomusicology, Music, Western Europe

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