'Under African Skies' Critic Reviews
New York Times (Top Critic)
Stephen Holden New York Times (Top Critic)80[It] does an excellent job of recapitulating the controversies surrounding the album's creation without bearing down too heavily on old news, while subtly taking Mr. Simon's side against his critics.
Tim Grierson Village Voice (Top Critic)It's a pleasant surprise that Under African Skies not only draws attention to the controversy surrounding its subject matter but digs into it a little.
Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)80A harmonious, fair-minded, energetic and enlightening portrait of one masterpiece's moment in time.
Rob Nelson Variety (Top Critic)Under African Skies is appreciably smarter than most celebrity musician docus.
John DeFore Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)A pure-bliss celebration of Paul Simon's landmark album Graceland coupled with an interesting if not unbiased look at the controversy surrounding its release...
Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)88Powered by Paul Simon's brilliance, Under African Skies is a cultural lightning bolt that soars on its music and an unshakable belief in the transcendence of art.
Betsy Sharkey Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)80The affection between the musicians and Simon is clear. The portrait that emerges time and again is personal and a reflection of the realities of apartheid.
Meredith Borders Badass DigestUNDER AFRICAN SKIES is much smarter and more profound than most music documentaries. It's a powerful, beautifully executed film that entertains, informs and questions.
Jason Gorber Twitch92It's a blissful film, this work by Berlinger and co., a sheer privilege for the viewer to spend such quality time UNDER AFRICAN SKIES.
Michael Sauter Film Journal InternationalThis absorbing documentary takes an up-close and intimate look at the musicians' creative process, then zooms out to recall the political turmoil that this landmark album left in its wake.
Mark Pfeiffer Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema59Under African Skies takes what could have been a puff piece glossing over the protestations related to Graceland and teaches the controversy.
Rich Cline Shadows on the Wall
Peter Rainer Christian Science Monitor84The result is doubly satisfying: We get not only a trenchant political drama but a bang-up concert film as well.
Eric Hynes Time Out New York60Under African Skies is less interested in hagiography than in the moral ambiguities of making art.
Kenji Fujishima Slant Magazine75It does lightly suggest scintillating questions about the responsibility artists have in reflecting current political moments in their music.
Christopher Campbell Movies.com80Berlinger's doc expertly captures the debate of the time and where it's at now, 25 years later.
Noel Murray AV Club84What's most exciting about Under African Skies is how it engages with whether artists have social and political responsibilities, and if so, what those might entail.
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