Sound of the Soul Stephen Olsson

Sound of the Soul Stephen Olsson
It seems that spiritually minded, idealistic hippies are not confined to the dreadlocked, organic fruit eating, Co-op living sort that we are familiar with in Western society. They come from all over the world, babbling about the source of God and connecting with a higher power spiritually through art, which as we all know (or should know) is just the weed and a bunch of New Age hippie-dippy crap talking. This, along with some amusingly glib ideas about how to create World Peace, which might as well involve Cindy-Lou Who for that matter, flood Sound of the Soul, a mostly annoying and often snicker-inducing documentary about the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco. The significance of Fez is that Jews, Muslims and Christians are apparently able to live there harmoniously (according to the documentary) and the fact that it is a car-free zone, which helps with that whole shirking of modern conveniences. This "idea" of communal living free of conflict, regardless of some conveniently overlooked historical facts, inspires this music festival and these utopian dreamers to sing "music from the soul" that is "beyond the ears and only truly heard in the heart," which in turn raises some valid questions about human anatomy. The documentary covers much of the music performed, which is often grating and sounds more like a dying goat than the soul (unless the soul sounds like a dying goat), along with much ado about the evils of material wealth and the beauty of love uniting us all. It is all very sweet and harmless but fairly ignorant nonetheless, omitting complexity and overt realities for the sake of broad and convenient generalizations. The DVD includes many additional music performances (for masochists), interviews with spiritual and political leaders, who may or may not be stoned, and an amusing discussion at the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition, there are some audience interviews and a bonus music CD. (Alive Mind)