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The Nine Muses

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Country :
UK
Language :
English
Director :
John Akomfrah
Distributor :
New Wave Films
Festivals :
VeniceSundance
Quality :
SD

The Nine Muses

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IrelandUnited Kingdom
  • UK
  • 2010
  • 90 minutes SD
  • Documentary
  • History
  • Arthouse

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Country Availability
Country :
UK
Language :
English
Director :
John Akomfrah
Distributor :
New Wave Films
Festivals :
VeniceSundance
Quality :
SD

Structured as an allegorical fable and loosely inspired by existential science fiction, The Nine Muses is a stylised, unusual and idiosyncratic retelling of the history of mass migration to post-war Britain through the suggestive lens of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.


Divided into nine overlapping musical chapters and mixing a vast array of archival material, The Nine Muses is a modern recasting of Homer’s epic as a tone poem about journeys, migration, memory and the power of elegy. The film deploys the ‘voices’ of a remarkable range of period and contemporary actors reading classical texts by Nietzsche, Dante, Shakespeare or Beckett, from John Barrymore to Richard Burton, Dermot Crowley, or Teresa Gallagher among others. The Nine Muses also offers a dizzying range of musical performances from Paul Robeson, Leontyne Price and India’s Gundecha Brothers, with a range of music by Arvo Pärt, Wagner as well as Schubert’s stunning Winterreise.


The Nine Muses is a feast for the eyes and the ears, a virtuoso exercise in montage and sound.

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