Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai tells the universal story of a musician trying to make it against all odds, set against the backdrop of the raucous subculture of Tuareg guitar. The protagonist, the real-life Mdou Moctar, must battle with competing artists, overcome family conflicts, endure the trials of love, and face his biggest rival yet—himself. An homage to Western rock-dramas, particularly 1984’s Purple Rain, the film draws from the experiences of Mdou Moctar and his peers and is carried by stunning musical performances. The first fiction feature in the Tuareg language—meaning “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in It,” a literal translation of “Purple Rain” (Tuareg has no word for “purple”)—is by turns a window into the Tuareg guitar scene in the city of Agadez, an experiment in modern ethnographic filmmaking, and a celebration of cross-cultural collaboration.
Q&A with Mdou Moctar on 5/7
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