My Reaction to “Imba means to Sing”

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From an artistic perspective, the movie in terms of visuals was amazing. The quality was just great and the colors as well but not only that but the sound definition was off the charts and this added to the entire experience of watching the documentary. Another important thing that I realized in terms of film choices was the stark contrast between housing and living conditions in the US and in Uganda which we see much of in the very beginning of the movie. You have the typical American houses side by side with the white picket fences and perfectly clean front yards just juxtaposed by the slums of Uganda and that really stood out to me. The first thing that I thought of was this idea of the American dream and the ideal perfect American house. This notion is then strongly emphasized and believed as the parents of those children constantly refer to going abroad to going to America and see America as the land of opportunity and freedom.

This then got me to thinking how the entire trip that focuses on going to America and preforming in front of predominantly white Americans to get sponsors had some underlying tones of exposing the children to the beauty of the western world and just how great it is. It got me to thinking about this possible notion of “Americanization” and how I also have somewhat fallen into that trap growing up and always wanting to come to America and constantly exposed to American culture and such.

Another thing with regards to those children that I thought about while watching the movie was the culture shock that they must have experienced, especially when coming home. You go from living in great conditions to going back to your country where everything is different, yet granted it is home and it will always be home, regardless of all the negatives. That I could strongly related to!

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The documentary brought about many interesting points among which I thought the most important had to do with the ideas of cultural appropriation with regards to “African-ness”. This somewhat angered me while watching the movie as it really portrays this idea of how African children need your help and especially need the West’s help in order to educate themselves. It promotes the notion of Africans being so dependent on others. Moreover, it depicts only one aspect of Africa, that being the Ugandan culture, which to many of the audiences might come to include all of Africa. It is problematic but I get the point of the African’s children choir and they are truly trying to make a difference and help those children, with good intentions. Also what better way to cross over barriers than through music, it is indeed a common language to as all!

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