Tonight I had the opportunity to go to a screening of the new Harry Belafonte documentary, "Sing Your Song," and it was a fantastic experience. Before the movie began, Mr. Belafonte himself was introduced and welcomed.
He spoke only briefly, but even in a short time his humor and charisma warmed the audience.
The documentary ran about two hours, and it was incredibly well edited. Considering the amount of footage they must have had to work with, I thought it was a brilliant summary and retrospective of the various sides of Harry Belafonte: actor, singer, father, activist. If you're a fan the man in any way, or a fan of documentaries in general, I highly recommend it. Sing Your Song will be playing at St. Anthony Main for a week, beginning Friday the 16th.
After the documentary there was about an hour of Q&A. Mr. Belafonte talked about everything from his experience to his opinion on American cinema, modern American music, and the spectacle of politics.
He also spoke about artistry, the importance of artists in society, and how important it is for artists to have a strong and resonating voice.
"Artists are the gatekeepers and guardians of the truth."
I didn't get to meet him personally - and I probably would have spontaneously combusted from inspiration overload anyway. I think if I had to address him, assuming I could keep it together, I would try to say something along the lines of:
As a young person I grew up adoring your music. As an adult, I've been profoundly inspired by your commitment to the global community. Your life of activism is testament to the fact that artists can and should be catalysts for positive change.
Thank you for a lifetime of inspiration.
Links of interest:
- The Walker's Website - walkerart.org
- St Anthony Main - Sing Your Song showtimes
- Sing Your Song - Official Website
*A disclaimer in case anybody freaks out- I'm not related to Harry Belafonte! Uncle is traditionally used in Sri Lanka as a title for not just a familial uncle, but also somebody you respect and/or hold dear.