A Magical Substance Flows Into
The voice is that of Dr. Robert Lachmann, an enigmatic German-Jewish ethnomusicologist who emigrated to 1930s Palestine. While attempting to establish an archive and department of Oriental Music at the Hebrew University, Lachmann created a radio program for the Palestine Broadcasting Service called “Oriental Music”. Over the course of the film, Jumana Manna—herself a Palestinian from Jerusalem—follows in Lachmann’s footsteps and visits Kurdish, Moroccan and Yemenite Jews, Samaritans, members of urban and rural Palestinian communities, Bedouins and Coptic Christians, as they exist today within the geographic space of historical Palestine. Manna engages them in conversation around their music, while lingering over that music’s history as well as its current, sometimes endangered state.