The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
World Theatrical Premiere
"Nicely lensed and recorded pic would be aces for music-centered fests and will sit well with politicos, too." -Variety
"A wonderful documentary...If you've never heard of them, this film will come as something of a revelation" -Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"A fairly solid examination of celebrity, politics and poverty in Third World Africa" -Time Out Chicago
Recommended! "Their melodious, polyphonic tunes glide over vivid images of island life" -Chicago Reader
In Malagasy, "Mahaleo" means free, independent. Mahaleo is also the name of Madagascar's most popular musical group. They came together in 1972, just before the collapse of the colonial regime, and were the first to write and sing an urban-style pop music in Malagasy. Their songs, both poetic and political, reached the deepest part of the Malagasy soul. Despite some 30 years of success, the group's seven musicians keep their distance from the world of show business. Instead, they remain deeply committed to helping their country's development and maintain careers including surgeon, farmer, physician, sociologist and Member of Parliament. Mahaleo and their music provide an entry point for depicting the almost mythic island of Madagascar and its rich oral tradition. This vibrant and engaging film, created in part by the team responsible for Saudade do Futuro (which was shown at the Facets Cinémathèque), follows the singers through their daily lives, offering a glimpse of the far-reaching social and economic problems of the Malagasy people and their history. Its portrait of the musicians' courage, humility and talent also supplies interesting insight into the role of artists in a developing country. The sublime soundtrack, composed of the group's best-known songs, combines anthem-like calls to action, rocking rants of anger and despair, and beautiful ballads of hope.
Directed by Marie-Clémence Paes and Raymond Rajaonarivelo, Belgium/France/Madagascar, 2005, 35mm, 102 mins. In Malagasy,and French with English subtitles.
Cinechat: Filmmaker Marie-Clémence Paes will be here in person for selected screenings on Friday, March 31 until Sunday, April 2, as
indicated with an asterisk below:
Fri. March 31 at 7* & 9* pm
Sat., April 1 at 3, 5*, 7* & 9* pm
Sun., April 2 at 3*, 5*, 7 & 9 pm
Mon.-Fri., April 3-7 at 7 & 9 pm
Sat., April 8 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
Sun., April 9 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm