Thus, if Vasarhelyi fails to sufficiently demystify N'Dour's heritage with her honest portrait, it's a failure for which we must accept part of the blame—at least until the patronizing denouement, where the controversial Egypt record wins a Grammy and all is instantaneously forgiven across Senegal. As much as America enjoys masturbatory daydreams wherein it plays global dues ex machina, I Bring What I Love—as with Obama's uneasy quotes from the other Abrahamic holy book—suggests that the few bridges existing between the secular West and the Muslim East grow flimsier and more precarious to traverse by the day. And all the symbolic gestures of distant appreciation—the Grammies and Paul Simon benefits—we have to offer Africa, let alone Palestine, are unlikely to inch us any nearer to meaningful dialogue.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Bridges to cross
A review of Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love, which it seems won't help us understand Africa or the Muslim world any better. (Slant)