Paul Simon’s Grammy-winning album Graceland – an irresistible and groundbreaking fusion of American and South African pop music — was an immediate hit when it was released in 1986. It also proved to be a lightning rod for controversy, after South African leaders protested that Simon had broken the cultural boycott of the nation’s oppressively racist apartheid regime. In the documentary Under African Skies, premiering on Sunday at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Simon returns to South Africa — which formally ended apartheid in 1994 — 25 years after Graceland‘s release. Director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills) follows Simon as he reunites with his South African collaborators, and revisits the controversy the album caused, while luminaries like Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, and Paul McCartney share their thoughts on what the album meant to them.
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