How do you write music to accompany a genocide? In a sense, this is the challenge faced by composer Graeme Revell with Darfur Now, a documentary about the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan. Revell, whose previous scores include The Crow and Sin City, certainly knows how to provide music for violent movies, even if those were fictional ones. But his real task here, most of the time, anyway, is to underlie the activities of six different people investigating or being affected by the crisis. Still, a sense of foreboding is a necessary part of the music's tone. Revell mixes ethnic instruments (usually in the foreground) with traditional orchestral music provided by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra (usually in the background), to achieve a hybrid effect. Often reed instruments play plaintive melodies over tribal drums. Certain cues -- "Rebels Patrolling" and "Pablo Passes Gunmen" -- require dramatic music to reflect the threatening nature of what's on the screen. In the latter parts of the soundtrack, the music becomes more varied, with an Indian flavor entering in "Meeting" and an uplifting pop theme appearing as "Adam's Victory" (repeated as "Don Talks to Young People"). "Don's Children" is a solo piano passage, and the closing "Children of the World" is played on an acoustic guitar with symphonic backing. Revell has managed to follow the six main characters on their various journeys in Darfur and in the corridors of power where the crisis is debated, bringing different cultures together through the film's music.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|Darfur Now, film score|