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The Music of Strangers - joyous documentary / South China Morning Post review

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Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville (2013's Twenty Feet from Stardom) teams up with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma to tell the fascinating and emotionally stirring tale of the Silk Road Ensemble. An eclectic collective of traditional artists, hailing from some of the world's most remote and turbulent regions, the group attempts to find common ground through the musical arts, while championing unique cultural expression from their disparate home countries.

Fifteen years after its conception, Silk Road is now a successful multicultural educational programme embedded everywhere from New York's inner-city schools to Harvard University. But the original focus of the project continues, and Neville's film follows Ma as he assembles – almost Seven Samurai style – his latest orchestra for a special reunion concert. Some of the participants in Ma's musical collective have braved repression to continue playing, and the film celebrates music's unique ability to unite people.

READ THE FULL South China Morning Post 4/5 stars REVIEW