Mahaleo
a film by Paes & Rajaonarivelo


In Malagasy, “Mahaleo” means free, independent… Mahaleo’s voices and music have accompanied the people of Madagascar ever since the collapse of the colonial regime. Yet, even after 30 years of success, the group’s seven musicians still keep their distance from the world of show-business, and remain deeply committed to helping their country’s development; their professions range from surgeon to farmer, physician to sociologist and member of parliament. Accompanied by the group’s rhythmic melodies, the film follows the singers through their daily lives, giving us a glimpse of the far-reaching social and economic problems of the Malagasy people. The combined talents of the Brazilian, Cesar Paes, and the Malagasy, Raymond Rajaonarivelo, have produced a work that is both etheral and concrete, poetic and political.

"A wonderful documentary (...) something of a revelation about seven friends who came together to make music and changed their world in the process." Chicago Tribune

"This enchanting and revelatory film introduces the world to Mahaleo, cultural ambassadors from the island nation of Madagascar. It celebrates the group‘s three decades together chronicling their life and work which deeply entwine the rich fabric of Malagasy history, politics and culture from the colonial period to the present day."
Liliane C. Koziol, University of California-Berkeley

"The beauty of Malagasy music with its mellow guitars and whiff of Polynesian melody, is given a political context in this colorful look back at the anti-colonial movement and various island crises since then. This wide-ranging documentary focuses on the eponymous combo whose members have gone on to other useful trades while keeping music as a center to heart-filled living." Variety



Official website www.mahaleo.com

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technical info
runing time: 102 minutes
format: 35 mm
ratio: 1:77
footage : 2792 m
visa: 106012
year of production: 2005

original languages:
available subtitles:

music: Mahaleo
photography: Cesar Paes
editing: Agnès Contensou
director: Paes & Rajaonarivelo
producer: Marie-Clémence Paes
production: Laterit productions
co-produced by: Cobra Films and ARTE
with the support of: Canal + and CNC avance sur recettes
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