Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Competition (out of competition)

Lightning In A Bottle

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“Salute to the Blues” was the name of a long evening of music that took place at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on 7 February, 2003, much to the delight of several thousand fans in the audience. The concert brought together well-known musicians representing a wide variety of styles in contemporary music such as country singer Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler and New York rapper Mos Def, with veteran proponents of the blues such as Buddy Guy and B.B. King.
Today’s stars of hip-hop, jazz and rap all returned to their common roots for this benefit concert, the proceeds of which went to the musical education of young people. Like the performers that evening, audiences of this film now also have the opportunity of embarking on a musical odyssey through time. Beginning in Africa, the journey takes us to the Mississippi delta, to Memphis and Chicago of the 1950s and 1960s; to Great Britain in the “Swinging Sixties” and back to the USA, where blues musicians of the last century have found worthy successors in the shape of young hip-hoppers.
The film also depicts preparations for the concert including rehearsals and shows us what went on behind the stage. Historical archive footage of legendary blues musicians Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf round off this musical tribute and make this documentary a highly-watchable cinematic experience.

USA 2003, 103 min


Antoine Fuqua