Het Ondergronds Orkest (1998)

Genres - Culture & Society, Music  |   Sub-Genres - Social Issues  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - Netherlands  |  
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This documentary profiles entertainers in the Paris Metro system, including an African vocal trio, a Venezuelan harpist, and a Yugoslavian violinist. A family of Romanian musicians (zither, accordion, violin) travel daily to separate locations, hoping to raise enough money to return home. With Paris Metro bombings came tightened security and a filming ban, so Dutch director Heddy Honigmann took her crew above ground to film street musicians -- a Vietnamese vocalist, an Argentine pianist, and a Zaire singer/deejay who fled a prison camp while a child. Detailing hardships and immigration problems, Honigmann also shot in seedy hotels, and immigrant living quarters and market sections. French and Spanish dialogue. Shown at the 1998 Rotterdam Film Festival.