By Khaya Ahmed:After receiving a standing ovation at the Tribeca Film Festival, the trailer for Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Andy Schocken’s documentary, Song of Lahore, is finally out. Set for limited release on November 13, 2015, the documentary is out to prove to the world that Pakistan’s culture is as rich and unique as the people living in it. If the trailer is any indication; the movie will do just that.
Director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is no stranger to the industry; having made headlines with her moving piece Saving Face, a documentary that earned her the honor of becoming the first female Pakistani director to win an Oscar. This time, she’s teamed up with Andy Schocken, a cinematographer and director from New York who is not afraid to film the bleak yet truthful side of the world today.
The documentary itself focuses on Sachal Studios, a place that was founded in Lahore by Izzat Majeed almost eleven years ago. A studio that initially set out to help spread their love for traditional music, this first ever custom built recording studio has gone on to earn critical acclaim for its unique fusion of Jazz with South Asian instruments. The documentary highlights the story of these passionate musicians and how they make their way from Pakistan to the Lincoln Centre in New York City to collaborate and perform with Wynton Marsalis.
The trailer is simple, engaging, and uplifting. It highlights the struggles faced by Pakistanis in a time when music had all but disappeared from our lives, a far cry from the early days when Lahore was known for its musical talent throughout the world. Yet, these musicians endured the hardships, the abuse, and they soldiered on, never once letting their love for music die. Laced with a soundtrack that will entrance you, we are reminded with a few simple words that even in the face of utter helplessness; we cannot give up. As we watch these musicians share the stage filled with laughter and joy, we are reminded that no matter where we come from, we all share a common language and love; music.