Wednesday, April 2nd, 6:30pm
Africa Now!: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
Presented by the Apollo Theater and World Music Institute
in partnership with the Maysles Cinema
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars
Zach Niles and Banker White, 2005, 78 min.
The plight of the refugee in today’s war-torn world is captured in the African proverb, ‘When two elephants are fighting, the grass will suffer’ So it was in Sierra Leone from 1991-2002, where the government and various rebel factions carried out a brutal civil war in which the terrorizing of civilians by killing, mutilation, rape, and forced conscription was common practice on all sides. The war sent hundreds of thousands of ordinary Sierra Leoneans fleeing to refugee camps in the neighboring West African nation of the Republic of Guinea. That’s where the remarkable documentary Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars begins. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are a band of six Sierra Leonean musicians who came together to form a band while living in a refugee camp in Guinea. Many of their family and friends were murdered in the war, leaving each of them with physical and emotional scars that may never heal. Despite the unimaginable horrors of civil war, they were saved and brought hope and happiness to their fellow refugees through their music. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars chronicles the band over three years, from Guinean refugee camps back to war-ravaged Sierra Leone, where they realize the dream of recording their first studio album. And so begins a musical phenomenon that is making the world hear the voices of West Africa’s refugees.
Q&A to folow screening with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars members Reuben Koroma (lead vocals, percussion), Ashade Pearce (guitar), Jahson Bull (keys, guitar), Dennis Sannoh (bass), Christopher Davies (drums).