Genghis Blues

Director: Roko Belic
Year Released: 1999
Rating: 3.0

Crudely constructed - but passionate - documentary of blind San Francisco blues musician Paul Pena's trip to a land called Tuva (a 'federal subject' of Russia) to learn about the culture and participate in a throat-singing competition. The inherent drama of Pena's blindness is never played up, and his fascination (like that of eccentric physicist Richard Feynman) with the Tuvan culture is genuine - likewise, the Tuvans appreciate someone from another country showing a love for their country and history. It's a feel-good movie that doesn't give 'feel-good' movies a bad name; it shows a respect for the need to travel, to explore and to develop an interest in things out of the ordinary.