Skip to main content

lomax the songhunter

2005 (MIFF 2005, Backbeat: Music on Film)

Director: Rogier Kappers

lomax the songhunter
Alan Lomax devoted his entire life to recording music in danger of disappearing. For six decades he travelled tirelessly, documenting blues, bluegrass, jazz, Appalachian and Cajun music for the Archive of Folksong at the Library of Congress. Lomax made some of the earliest recordings of Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim, Big Bill Broonzy and Sonny Boy Williamson. His prime-time series, [Back Where I Come From], introduced US audiences to pivotal figures such as Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. After traversing America he set his sights on the rest of the globe. Lomax hauled his primitive recording equipment around remote Scottish islands and Spanish mountain villages documenting dying music. This loving documentary portrait retraces the songhunter's steps, meeting up with some of the people recorded as far back as the 1930s. "All cultures need their fair share of the airtime. When country folk or tribal peoples hear or view their own traditions in the media something magical occurs. They see that their expressive style is as good as that of others." - Alan Lomax
D/S Rogier Kappers P Joost Verhey WS MM Film Produkties L English, Italian, Spanish, Gaelic w/English subtitles TD video/col/2004/90mins Rogier Kappers was born in the Netherlands in 1963. His films include [The Secret of War] (1995, short), [Sand] (2000, short), [A Refuse Collector in Istanbul] (2002, short).

See also...

new york doll

If the catchcry 'fun, chaos and sleaze' announced the raucous arrival of the New York Dolls in 1972, then the title of their second album, [Too Much Too Soon], was a fitting epitaph to their demise ... More »


Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a provocative documentary that skewers hip-hop's dominant sexual politics. Fronted by filmmaker Byron Hurt, this film was originally conceived as a “loving critique” ... More »

devil and daniel johnston, the

According to Kurt Cobain, Daniel Johnston was the greatest songwriter on earth. Musician, cult outsider artist and manic depressive, Daniel Johnston's wild behavioural fluctuations, downward-spirals ... More »


“Strong enough to make believers out of non-metalheads, and inside enough to get the devil's-horns salute from the most diehard followers.” - Variety Headbanger-turned-anthropologist Sam Dunn ... More »

screaming masterpiece

"It takes chutzpah to call a pic [Screaming Masterpiece], however tongue-in-cheek it's intended, but as director Ari Alexander Ergis Magnusson's flag-waving documentary proves, Icelanders are not ... More »

Bound to lose

A steady diet of amphetamines has left The Holy Modal Rounders' co-founder Peter Stampfel with a nervous, Woody Allen manner that drives his partner in crime, Steve Weber, crazy. Stampfel gave away ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director