The 2012 Sundance documentary Under African Skies, Joe Berlinger’s Paul Simon/Graceland project, which follows all sides of the complex story behind the artistic, political and commercial divide of Simon’s historic album, is getting a limited theatrical release, opening next week, May 11th, at the Los Angeles Laemmle Royal Theater.
On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Graceland’s release, Simon returns to South Africa for a reunion concert that revisits the turbulent birth of the album, and the intense political crossfire it spawned (Simon was accused of breaking the United Nations’ cultural boycott of South Africa, which was designed to end apartheid).
The film follows Simon as he revisits old ghosts and gains insights on his own musical journey, including interviews with music legends like Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, and David Byrne.
If you recall, adding to an extensive library of recent pickups that includes Alrick Brown’s Sundance 2011 award-winning Kinyarwanda, SnagFilms (parent company of indieWIRE) acquired exclusive rights to the doc, as announced in March, and will make it available by this summer/fall, via SnagFilms’ various platforms, including its own site and a network of more than 110,000 affiliated sites and partners like Hulu and Comcast’s XfinityTV.com, so you have some options.
But you can catch it first in theaters, beginning next week Friday… if you live in LA.