AFF 2012 Review: PUNK IN AFRICA

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Keith Jones’ documentary tells the story of punk rock music and how it emerged within the continent of Africa.  Political strife, poverty, racial tensions and war affected the punk movement in 1980s Southern Africa.  In the countries of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the music served as a cry for help, a shout of pain and turmoil and an expression of anger and frustration to the problems plaguing these peoples.  Director Keith Jones documents the history, the emotions and the evolution of punk and ska music in these countries from the 1980s through the 1990s

Jones deserves praise for presenting a comprehensive portrait of the impact of politics on music and vice versa in this troubled continent.  Perhaps his film is too comprehensive as the bands, artists, stories and countries tend to blur together sometimes.  It seems as if Jones wanted to cover much ground with this one film, but it feels somewhat overloaded at times.  I absolutely loved the soundtrack and feel that every single band presented deserves to be heard by the entire world.

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