Residente

Directed by René Pérez

Starring René Pérez and Lin-Manuel Miranda

After taking a DNA test, Latin America's most decorated artist – René Pérez (AKA Residente) – embarks on a global adventure to trace the footsteps of his ancestors and record his latest album.

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  • ★★★★ review by Peter Craig on Letterboxd

    An unusual doc from Puerto Rican rap singer Residente, who traces the heritage mapped in his DNA to the native musical traditions from those regions of the world. A vanity project, to be sure, but a fascinating one that produces some very tuneful mashups of musical styles. In the process he also recounts the histories of the regions he visits (northeast Asia, the Balkans, China, Africa, and his native Puerto Rico) and provides fascinating glimpses of the musical creation process. Talking most often through translators, it becomes clear that music can be its own language and sometimes can bridge cultural gaps that language cannot. There are some trite observations on subjects like war, parenthood and colonialism, and the artist swagger that he projects can be a bit overbearing. But there is no denying the effectiveness of the compositions and the enjoyment that suffuses this film.

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