Review: While You Live, Shine (ADIFF 2018)

There’s a magnificent match cut at an early juncture of While You Live, Shine — from a microscopic view of the grooves in the 78 RPM record supplying the film’s soundtrack to the craggy landscape of the Greek mountains from which the music comes—that demonstrates in an instant this wonderful documentary’s innate understanding of the power of art to transport us. Taking its title from one of the mirologia, Greek folk laments comprising some of the oldest surviving musical compositions, this is a movie that quietly and compellingly comes to lose itself and us with it in the ancient wonder of these soulful tunes, and in so doing derive profound insights into the nature of community, culture, and the sense of self to be found in both.


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