Programmed by Benoît Hické
From the simple story of love and misery of a young couple from the Harlem ghetto to meetings with twelve great blues singers (BB King, Mance Lipscomb, Robert Pete Williams, Roosevelt Sykes), filmed in their social milieu.
A word from Tënk
The strength of Manthoulis’ film lies in how it plays with both documentary and blues codes. It could’ve boiled down to a series of encounters with the genre’s masters filmed in close-up in their old age in the 1970s when – finally – they experienced true glory… But no! Instead, Manthoulis chooses to use fiction’s methods (the narrative “vehicle” is embodied by Freddy, a young delinquent from Harlem struggling with relationship problems and endless hassles). The friction between these two registers submerges us into the very spirit of the blues, music that’s experienced and felt and lived. This is what B.B. King and Roosevelt Sykes are saying as they sing their hearts out about their lost loves, their lives stolen by pretty much everything. Like the best of them, this is a film to listen to as well as watch. It might make you smile, it might give you a buzz, you might wonder what path it’s taking you on. Trust it – the path is the blues…
Programmer and professor