"This is a city painted with sound and music is a major component of it. As in many poor areas, music is a form of emotional transportation for many people. Escape or dream- almost a form of prayer, whether you believe in God or not. And here you feel the need to sing. Napoli is a very, very unusual place, on many, many levels. And still despite everything people are still singing."
This is a quote from Passione, a documentary about Neapolitan music directed by John Turturro. The documentary is like one long music video that chronicles the Neapolitan roots and traditions in music. The film looks into the European, African and Arabic cultures that influence Neapolitan music. Although it digs into the history of the music, Passione is modernized, featuring contemporary Italian artists.
I happened to stumble upon the movie about a week ago after my dad rented it, and it has been playing on our TV almost non stop ever since. The DVD even traveled to my grandma’s house on Thanksgiving where we had a viewing for the whole family. My family who has roots in Napoli felt a special connection to the music and the culture presented in the movie, but you don’t need Italian ancestors to appreciate the film.
Although almost forced to watch it, I really enjoyed it. Passione makes you look at music in a way that you often forget to. It will definitely leave an impression on you; my cousin who also watch it said days later how she was still thinking about it.
I picked the quote above because it is universal. Although it is talking about a specific region, I think anyone can relate to using music as an escape. The music is beautiful and the scenery is inspiring. If you are looking for something different to watch and listen to, definitely watch Passione and listen to the soundtrack below.