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‘Restless City’ at the 19th New York African Film Festival

Towards the final scenes of Restless City, Jessye Norman’s solo soprano voice scales the great buildings and the conveyor belts of vehicles, between all of which a small red scooter navigates, carrying the slim bodies of Djibril and Trina. They are here, in this city, with all their desires clenched in their mouths. It is Norman’s voice, following the music composed by Richard Strauss to the poetry of Herman Hesse, that lifts our two immigrants’ desires up on the currents of her song, skylarks freed into the night sky.