Seattle label Sublime Frequencies has put out no shortage of records of pop and folk music from all corners of the world, and they boast an impressive catalog of documentaries as well. Two of their new films screen tomorrow night at a special screening at the Woods.
Staring into the Sun is director Olivia Wyatt's document of a journey through the tribes and indigenous cultures of Ethiopia. Judging from the trailer above (which I guess could be considered NSFW, in a National Geographic kind of way), it looks to be full of stunning imagery, music, and landscapes. The press release says that "Wyatt brings together the worlds of Zar spirit possession; Hamer tribal wedding ceremonies; Borena water well polyphonic singing; wild hyena feedings; and bizarre Ethiopian TV segments; presenting an enchanting look at these ethereal images, landscapes and sounds from the horn of Africa." They had me at hyena feedings.
Meanwhile, Land of the Songhai is Hisham Mayet's document of the Songhai region in Niger, and includes "Zarma mock possession hoedowns, Wodaabe trance vocal performances, Spirit possession ceremonies, Godje one sting laments, contigi string masters, comsaa griots and Sahel night markets." I know what some of those words mean. At any rate, this should be a cool chance to see these films before they are officially released by Sublime Frequencies later in the year.
w/DJ Frank Sumatra; the Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie, Fri June 11, 7 pm, $7