Le Blues de l'Orient | 2007
'When you put your ear close to the earth of this place and listen, you don't hear jazz ' These are the words of one of the many musicians in this musical road movie that moves between Iraq and Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, Israel and Egypt. It ech s the deep links between places and people across the vast territory of the Middle East where classical Arab music has served as a common source of joy, and a unique form of expression, for the diverse communities of the region. In her attempt to trace her own hidden cultural heritage, filmmaker Florence Strauss gives voice to the great masters of Arab music like Umm Kulthum and Abdelwahab and to the quarter tones which touch Jewish, Muslim and Christian heritage alike. This is a love song to Arab music, played against the backdrop of Laurent Brunet's magnificent images of the land and its people. It is also a serious study of the cultural links between the different communities of the Middle East.