A documentary about the popular percussion and dance scene in Senegal, with its huge complex, driving rhythms and explosive dance, with a focus on handing down the Sabar traditions to the next generations, specifically from father to son.
In the labyrinth of hot, dusty streets of Dakar, Senegal, the percussionist Maguette Gueye — 31 years old — cannot help but play on his Sabar, as an artist who cannot live without his brushes.
Maguette is no ordinary Senegalese, but a Wolof Griot (bard), whose destiny is to live as a Sabar player. He is one of the many drummers in Dakar who make a meagre living from their art and have to maintain a position in the ever-growing group of artists. He says «I am a Griot and I cannot be but who I am: a 'téggkat' (percussionist)». Will his two sons follow this way of life?
In sabar modernity and tradition go hand in hand. The sabar rhythms on which is danced are traditional, but it is todays youngsters who play passionate in the streets and clubs.
Maguette embodies tradition and modernity. Dressed in the latest Western fashion, with a low hanging jeans, his drum on his shoulder, he wanders through the streets of Dakar on the way to a sabar party to whip the people and create the best party.
Sabar is virtually unknown in the West. For Western ears it is often too hard, too complex, too fast, and according to some percussion enthusiasts even aggressive.
Being part of this unknown Senegalese sabar life with its cinematographic images, impressing rhythms, spectacular dance and the beauty of the drums, is what makes this film so special.
DIRECTOR: ARDA NEDERVEEN
Since 2001 I am driven to make documentaries besides my regular filming work. Especially the unknown, the beauty of another society, the different way of thinking, strike me. This results are in films about labour in Guatemala (2001), nature in Mongolia (2003), Somali and Ethiopian domestic workers in Yemen (2007), Polygamy in Oman (2013) and lately Sabar drumming and dancing in Senegal (2014).