Synopsis by Mark Deming
Harry Belafonte rose to fame in the 1950s as a singer and actor, bringing the Caribbean sounds of calypso music to the charts years before anyone coined the phrase "world music," and starring in a handful of hit movies, including Carmen Jones and Buck and the Preacher. However, for Belafonte fame and wealth were never as important as the opportunities they created for him to make the world a better and more just place, and he's nearly as well known for his work as an activist as for his career in the arts. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr., fought against apartheid in South Africa long before it was common, spoke out for economic justice in America and abroad, raised money for famine relief in Africa, and condemned Joseph McCarthy's communist witch hunt (and was blacklisted for his troubles). Filmmaker Susanne Rostock offers a portrait of Belafonte as an artist, activist, and individual in the documentary Sing Your Song, in which he discusses his music and acting, what drove him to become an activist, the remarkable men and women he's worked with over the decades, and the triumphs and disappointments of his personal life. Sing Your Song was an official selection at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival.
activism, career, life, singer, social-awareness, social-change