Times Like Deese

Maarten Schmidt, Thomas Doebele Long documentary - 2011 - 88 min.

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On the occasion of the election of the first black president of the United States, filmmakers Thomas Doebele and Maarten Schmidt travel to the Mississippi Delta to assess the mood among the black population. What reverberates in their unforgettable blues - and in their modern raps and hip-hop? Are they still exultant or does disappointment prevail? The film does not feature the big blues stars, but simple musicians, performing in basements or on unpopular stages. Their songs recount how they fought the battle for equal rights, how they toiled away on the cotton fields, how they fought in wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan and how in the current crisis their youngsters still lack a bright future. The older generation is more optimistic than the younger one. A young rapper cynically sings: ‘The president is black, but the plan stays the same.’ But the elderly blind Morris Cummings, who knows how young the past is, keeps cherishing hope for his children and grandchildren: ‘Mr. Obama, please don’t give up on the dream.’

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Netherlands