In the 1930s, in the years before the Palestinian exodus, the German-Jewish musicologist Robert Lachmann moved to Jerusalem to study and celebrate the music of Palestine. His radio show, Oriental Music, was an attempt to showcase the diversity and richness of this ancient musical tradition and the way it fought against the arbitrary divisions between Arab and Jew. 80 years later, Palestinian filmmaker and artist Jumana Manna 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. A moving, transcendent testament to music as humanity's universal language, A Magical Substance Flows Into Me is a feast for the senses that shines a hopeful light onto one of our most intractable calamities.
Director: Jumana Manna
Length: 68 mins
Language: Arabic with English subtitles