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Last night Music by Prudence screened at the Gala opening of the first annual International Disability Film Festival, Abära, organized by Arts & Disability Ireland.
Darren Mooney, winner of “best pop-culture blog” Irish Blog Awards, gave the film a raving review. Here are some highlights:
“Music by Prudence is an absolutely fascinating documentary from director Roger Ross Williams, looking at the band Liyana, fronted by Prudence Mabhena. The thirty-three minute documentary does a wonderfully effective job giving us a snapshot into the Zimbabwean band, composed of faculty and students from the King George VI Centre and School for Children with Physical Disabilities. The runtime is remarkably short, but Williams compensates by giving us a whirlwind introduction to the band’s lead singer, who has enough charm and wit to carry a far longer documentary. The band themselves provide a beautiful soundtrack, and there’s talk of them releasing two albums off the back of the film’s success.”
“Prudence herself attended the screening and announced her presence, before she’d even come in the door, with a stirring version of Amazing Grace. It was really something, and she has an undeniable talent. Similarly, there’s a wonderful sense of affection shared between Prudence and her band mates, with Prudence herself serving as something of a den mother – at one point, confiscating a phone off a band mate who is distracted from driving his wheelchair. Thirty minutes is an incredibly brief amount of time to spend with somebody, and it takes considerable effort to give us such a complete sketch in so short a time – the film is remarkably structured and well-handled.”
“Prudence explains that most births in Zimbabwe are cause for celebration, and that the only exception is for those children born with disabilities. It feels like Prudence Mabhena finally got her well-earned celebration.”
Read the full review here.