Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in It (Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai)

Co-presented by Radio Afrique

Followed by a Q&A with director Chris Kirkley and an after party with DJ sets by Radio Afrique and Chris Kirkley

Whoever said rock ‘n roll was dead will find a foe in modern day-Lomax Christopher Kirkley’s (fictional, but not untrue) Purple Rain-colored portrayal of Mdou Moctar, Nigerien vassal of left-handed psych blues. Famous in North Africa for his scintillating, rebellious guitar style—recordings of which traveled in stealth on teenagers’ cellphones—Moctar profiles a rock-mystic version of himself in Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It, the first ever Tuareg-language film (it has no word for “purple”).

Shot in eight days and using only local musicians, actors and youth who often rewrote or improvised the script to better represent their lives, the narrative bypasses the novelty factor of being a Tuareg Purple Rain and instead tributes Prince’s cult film while matching it with the Saharan answer: a mysterious tagelmust head garment in place of The Kid’s expressive scarves; a pious, guitar-despising Muslim father in place of Purple Rain‘s abusive patriarch; yet still, the crucial motorcycle, the race to get the girl, the ego-driven rock rivalries, and the miraculous return of the hero.

An absorbing, beautifully shot homage to music itself that sends a toast each to Italian neo-realism and The Harder They Come, Rain the Color of Blue is the rock ‘n roll event to be hip on in 2016.

Dir. Christopher Kirkley, 2015, DCP, 75 min.

Watch the trailer!