2016, Fri, Jul 22

Del Palenque de San Basilio | Les rois créoles de la champeta

D: Erwin Goggel Colombia/Switzerland 2003, 85 min, OV with German subtitles | D: Lucas Silva, Sergio Arria, Colombia 1997, 26 min, Original French version

Del Palenque de San Basilio (film still) | © promo

Del Palenque de San Basilio (film still) | © promo

Palenque residents on their African ancestors | On the sound system version of champeta

“My blood comes from Africa.” San Basilio is a palenque: a village once founded by Africans who had fled from the nearby slave-harbor of Cartagena de Indias in the refuge of the rainforest and fought for their independence. Erwin Goggel’s documentary listens to the stories and the songs of its descendants, accompanying them at the harvest, at dances, parties, and funerals.

Les rois créoles de la champeta (film still) | © promo

Les rois créoles de la champeta (film still) | © promo

Les rois créoles de la champeta

On the sound system version of champeta

Highlife guitars coupled with tinny keyboard sounds, a percussionist plays lying down on the asphalt: that’s “Terapia Criolla”, the sound system version of champeta. In interviews, musicians, producers, and DJs explain how they fused rhythms from the Congo, Ghana, and Nigeria with Haitian compas or soca in the late 1980s and created the boldest dancing styles of the Caribbean.