Sound of Freedom, Part 1 | DocFilm | DW | 14.02.2020
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Sound of Freedom, Part 1

Two hundred years of the music of freedom, hope and protest: This two-part documentary tells the story of songs that have become iconic - from the "Marseillaise" to "Bella Ciao" and "I Will Survive."

Watch video 42:36

What does the folk song "Die Gedanken sind frei" have to do with Russian band Pussy Riot’s "punk prayer?" What traditions do the Free Nelson Mandela movement or Beyoncé's feminist pop refer to? Music touches people. It motivates and comforts them. But pop music can also be political: Since the French Revolution at the very latest, social upheaval and political song have been closely linked. Superstar Beyoncé is showing the way: She uses her fame to draw attention to the discrimination against colored people in the USA and fight for equal rights for women. She’s part of a long tradition of sounds that changed the world: From the "Marseillaise" to Billie Holiday’s "Strange Fruit," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Wind of Change". The "Marseillaise", for example, is still the anthem to liberty, equality and fraternity it was during the French Revolution, although today there is a lot of debate about whether passages that are particularly gory or glorify violence should be changed. "March of the Women" accompanied the fight for female suffrage in Britain. "Wind of Change" by German rockers Scorpions is still one of the most powerful evocations of the end of the Cold War and became the anthem of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. "Sound of Freedom" uses both stars and contemporary witnesses to highlight the revolutionary power of music.