Although he’d released a clutch of fine LPs beforehand, Hugh Masekela put South African jazz at the top of the charts with his sunny 1968 pop smash “Grazing in the Grass.” But, as a native black musician who came of age during the apartheid era, the trumpeter experienced some dark times; the leader of his first band, Trevor Huddleston, an outspoken opponent of apartheid, was even deported by the government. Masekela contributed new, original music to filmmaker Michael Lessec’s documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, which premieres this weekend at the Woodstock Film Festival. Both Masekela and Lessec are set to take part in Q&A sessions following each of the two festival screenings.
A Snake Gives Birth to A Snake documents a diverse group of South African actors touring the war-torn regions of Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia to share their country’s experiment with reconciliation. As they ignite a dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must once again confront their homeland's violent past, and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness.
Here, actor Nick Boraine talks about the making of the documentary:
A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake will screen on October 17 at 5pm at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, and on October 19 at 2pm at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck. Tickets will be available for purchase online on September 19. In addition to the film, Hugh Masekela along with director Michael Lessac, will participate in a special panel with BMI's Doreen Ringer-Ross, the panel "Music as the Unifying Force" on October 17 at 3pm at the Kleinart James Art Center in Woodstock. For tickets and information, visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.com.