Music as a Weapon is a feature documentary about the power of music. The arena is Paris. Arjanne Laan goes around with musicians in exile. Her mission is to unravel why repressive regimes fear music and why they are so eager to persecute musicians.
Important character in Music as a Weapon is Dutch/Chilean composer Patricio Wang. In Chile he was charged by the military regime of Pinochet, because he made “wrong” music. Patricio left Chile forty years ago, but only recently he could transform his experiences into a piece of music.
The other musicians in exile are, like Patricio, well-known or even famous.
Cheick Tidiane Seck from Mali is a key figure in the Parisian music scene. Mali is afflicted by the fundamentalists of Islamic Ansur ud Din, who ban music and destroy instruments. Cheick’s dream is to play freely again, there, with his good friend Ahmed - a muslim.
Argentinian concert pianist Miguel Estrella fled from the murdering Videla regime. He got run in after he had organized classical music concerts for ordinary farmers, and put to torture for years. He survived by analyzing the sounds of torture, rape and all the agony he heard, making them into musical compositions.
Serges Kassy played a noticeable role in the civil war in Ivory Coast, stirring up the people with his reggae. He is very popular in Ivory Coast and repeatedly he is invited to return home, but he still fears for his life in case he’d get back.
Director Arjanne Laan questions the musicians about their convictions and the choices they made, trying to find out what makes music so powerful.
The development of Music as a Weapon is financed by the Prins Bernhard Cultural Fund and the Dutch Film Fund.
Current status: in research / pre-production
Expected release date: April 2017