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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Africa > Genocide > Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars (Docurama/New Video)

Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars (Docurama/New Video)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Documentary: B



Sierra Leone has had turmoil for years and if civil war and the dark side of the diamond trade is not ugly enough to go with the poverty, music somehow cuts through all in the Zack Niles/Banker White documentary Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars (2005) about the tile music group fighting for a chance at stardom and out of the ugliness without betraying it or leaving it behind.  They eventually become a rallying point that could lead to change.


This is one of the latest of a cycle of such documentaries exposing third world country conditions and stories that the mainstream media (especially in the U.S.) have been paying limited attention to.  When they do, it always seems to be at a distance.  Throw in music and the evening news is especially clueless.  This was broadcast on the hit PBS series P.O.V. and is as good as many of its contemporaries.  As more innocent lives are needlessly lost, programs such as these will take on new meaning.


The 1.33 X 1 image was shot in low definition video on location with plenty of detail and definition issues, but this was the only way to capture this and they did the best they could under the circumstance.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real surrounds, is somewhat well recorded and quality varies slightly form all the tough location taping conditions.  Extras include a short film (Refugee Rolling) as the band goes to the United States, deleted scenes, web information and bonus music clips.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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