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Mahaleo by Paes & Rajaonarivelo

The documentary tells the stories of the seven members of Mahaleo, a popular band in Madagascar. Together they write songs about lifes important themes, such as friendship, love, birth and death. They draw on current events in Madagascar for inspiration, including poverty, health care issues and economic and political developments. The music is both cheerful and sentimental and the band has devoted fans of all ages in Madagascar. The documentary features images of daily life in Madagascar to the tune of Mahaleo's music. The individual members of the band, including a doctor, a sociologist and a politician, are also prominent members of the community.

Social Interest
The hardships of daily life in Madagascar are a main element of the film. Most people live off the land. One of the members of Mahaleo works for an NGO and teaches farmers in the villages how to plant crops more efficiently. Mahaleo's music seems to be a source of support for the people. The documentary also features images from a live concert, with the fans in the audience singing along to every song.

Historic Relevance
The island of Madagascars turbulent history is one of the sources of inspiration for Mahaleos lyrics. The documentary starts with one of the bands songs, while various images of significant events are shown, such as the rise of democratic socialism and ecological humanism, as well as the demonstrations against political events. The band was formed after the fall of the neo-colonial government, when the members were still university students. Since then, their music has become an inextricable part of Madagasy life.

Paes & Rajaonarivelo
Copyright Holder
Laterit productions
98 min.
Year of release
Malagasy, French

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