Songs of war

Reuters / Luc Gnago

Music elates, touches the soul and bypasses reason. Music is magic. But it is precisely this magic that can turn it into an insidious weapon – for music and violence have a longstanding partnership. The brutal power of African war dances, the ferocity of Maori Hakas, the earth-shattering roar of US sound guns blasting Metallica at Taliban hideouts – the principle is always the same: Aggressive sounds demoralize the enemy and whip the allies into a frenzy.

In ’Songs of War’, we explore the extraordinary harmony between music and violence. The film’s main protagonist is Sesame Street composer, Christopher Cerf. He always wanted his music to be fun and entertaining. But then he learned that his songs had been used to torture prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Stunned by this abuse of his work, he wanted to find out how this could happen.

Cerf embarks on a journey to learn what makes music such a powerful stimulant. In the process, he speaks to soldiers, psychologists and prisoners tortured by his music at Guantanamo and finds out how the military has been employing music as a powerful weapon for hundreds of years.

Directed by Tristan Chytroschek

Produced by A & O Buero

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