Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul

Showing at Northwest Film Forum, Fri., July 28– Thurs., Aug. 3. Not rated. 119 minutes.

True to its title, this fascinating documentary reveals the musical and cultural diversity at the crossroads between East and West, Europe and Asia. Director Fatih Akin (Head-On) and German rocker Alexander Hacke traipse around town recording the city's soundscape. They capture everything from hip-hop to psychedelic rock, street buskers to pop divas, tribal dirges to heavy metal. We see Istanbul as a city of confluence and contradiction, a musical melting pot embracing the West while maintaining and celebrating its heritage. Akin's camera is gently present, and Hacke is a charismatic musical guide whose excitement is contagious. The recordings are beautifully captured and edited by Andrew Bird (himself an accomplished musician). Bridge is simultaneously a musical celebration and cultural exploration of an amazing diverse city. Once you see it, and hear it, you'll want to visit.

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