The Blues – Feel Like Going Home, Martin Scorsese (2003)

I heard a lot of grumpy comments about this series of films, which I think Scorsese oversaw for PBS, but this first one, I must say, is enchanting. It is undeniably true that any number of cultural studies dissertations could be written to unpack all the levels of appropriation, voyeurism, etc. in play here — an Italian American director filming an African American musician traveling to Africa so that PBS-watching honkies like me can enjoy speculating about the connections between west African kora music and Mississippi country blues, oy vey — but geez. I’ll admit to any depredations you need me to, but I can’t say I’m sorry to have seen Ali Farka Toure and Corey Harris jamming under a tree in Mali. Absolutely wonderful music in this. Sharp, smart, and funky!

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