Worth a Look
otserick | Bordentown, New Jersey | 10/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary made for Bitish television in the 1980s deals with the roots of the present political crisis in Colombia. It is not, in the final analysis, a film "about" music. Instead, it provides cultural and poltical contexts for understanding and enjoying Colombia cultural production of all types. Still, the music (there is a lot!) is outstanding, the "talking heads", for once, actually have something worth hearing, and the images are searing and memorable, particularly during the last ten minutes or so. Highly recommended."
An interesting historical and musical postcard
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 06/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Shotguns and Accordions - Music of the Marijuana Growing Regions of Colombia" is an engaging watch. While the title suggests that this is a film about music, the scope is broader. In the film, music is seen as a barometer of sorts to show changes in Columbian society. Much of the emphasis is on the socio-economic changes that have come about as a result of the drug trade with the United States. The director's primary narrative vehicle is the interview. Along the way, the audience visits a diverse sampling of the country including the hinterlands, coast, cities and small towns along the way. The visit to an indigenous Indian village is especially rewarding. The viewer is taken to several music festivals. As a whole, the music is very good and interesting. Incubated in a uniquely Columbian way, most of the music is an acoustic blending of Spanish, Indian and African influences. For those with an appreciation of ethnomusicology, the time period is fascinating. Filmed in the early 1980's, it shows a transitional time for Columbian music. While most of the music would still be considered folklórico, it shows the introduction of electric instruments and more global elements. One of the highlights features a club band. While playing a jam with an R&B groove, the band leader is hoisted upon his band mate's shoulders. There, he plays a spirited accordion solo with his foot as if he were a Latino Jimi Hendrix. Simultaneously, he manages to get out a few Little Richard style call and responses. What's the chorus? "People Envy Me Because I Have Two Women." While the video and audio is good, it should have been remastered for the DVD transfer. "Shotguns and Accordions" will appeal to those with an interest in the global drug trade and viewers with an affection for South American music."