Two British filmmakers have pieced together this extraordinary story set in the late 1920s when record companies toured America with a recording machine and for the first time captured the raw expression of an emerging culture.
The filmmakers follow the machine’s trail across the United States to rediscover the families whose music was recorded by it, music that would lead to the development of blues, country, gospel, Hawaiian, Cajun and folk music – without which there would be no rock, pop, R&B or hip hop today. Over three episodes the remarkable lives of these seminal musicians are revealed through previously unseen film footage, unpublished photographs, and exclusive interviews with some of the last living witnesses to that era, when the musical strands of a diverse nation first emerged, sparking a cultural revolution whose reverberations are felt to this day.
SIFF and the VVAC are honored to present an episode of the PBS 3-part series, AMERICAN EPIC presented by Robert Redford, T Bone Burnett and Jack White. In this special advance screening, the filmmakers travel deep into the Hopi nation and its music, explore the origins of Hawaiian slack-key guitar, discover the hybrid of cultures in Tejano music, and head through bayou country and its Cajun music, ending in Avalon, the the delta blues and its innovator, Mississippi John Hurt.
British filmmakers, Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty, will be in attendance for a Q&A following each showing.
Patron and Life members of the VVAC will receive free tickets. Tickets will go on sale in March. Visit the Sedona International Film Festival box office online for tickets.
March 31 at 4:00 pm and again at 7:00 pm