Song of Lahore

Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music. Following the Islamization of Pakistan, many artists struggled to continue their life's work. Song of Lahore turns the spotlight on a group of stalwart musicians that kept playing and ultimately attracted listeners from around the world.


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  • ★★★★ review by Wayne on Letterboxd

    Charming documentary about the musicians from Sachal Studios in Lahore travelling to New York to play a concert with Wynton Marsalis. The background is fascinating - experienced, talented musicians who have struggled to make a living in Pakistan because of the banning of music and the arts by dictators and the Taliban. The son of one says: "I feel that I should give up music and open a general store so people won't call me a 'low life musician'". There are some chaotic rehearsal scenes that make you doubt the concert will be a success, although the filmmakers have been a little tricksy here - events have been simplified and timelines shortened to add a little tension. But it's great to hear - in every sense - these musicians (there's a lovely sequence when they're walking around NY at night) and the clips from the concert show it was a fantastic event. "In 50 years I've never had that much respect," one says.

  • ★★★★★ review by Kathy Gibson on Letterboxd

    The documentary Song of Lahore chronicles the surprising journey of an ensemble of classically trained Pakistani musicians to their performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The film is as touching as it is educational.

    Full review here.

  • ★★★★ review by Hushpuppy on Letterboxd

    Everything about this film, shout out papa Ahmed for this corker. 

    What a BEAUTIFUL film! 

    Boyyyy I’m proud 💛 🇵🇰.

  • ★★★★ review by Juan Carlos Ojano on Letterboxd

    Takes time to pull itself together, but reaches rousing moments. We root for the subjects. Rewarding denouement.

  • ★★★½ review by mfrets78 on Letterboxd

    Really enjoyed Song of Lahore. The film tells the story of Sachal Studios in Pakistan. Music was banned in Pakistan for a long time and is only beginning to resurface. The film follows the musicians at Sachal after they are invited by Wynton Marsalis to play a concert with his ensemble. What I liked is being in the rehearsal space as the two groups try to make their styles come together.

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