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Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ Celebrates 25 Years with Documentary and Box Set

Paul Simon
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Paul Simon released his landmark album ‘Graceland’ — but it has. And in celebration of the milestone, the film ‘Under African Skies,’ which chronicles the creation and lasting influence of the record, will make its debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival this month.

The documentary, from two-time Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger, traces the making of ‘Graceland’ and the controversy created when Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists.

That collaboration created a new world musical fusion that combined American and African musical idioms and ignited an intense political crossfire as well — Simon was even accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.

The film sees Simon gathering the record’s original musicians for a concert reunion and features interviews with key anti-apartheid activists and musical legends like Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel.

After its Sundance premiere, ‘Under African Skies’ will screen at several international film festivals, have a limited theatrical run, and also air on A&E.

In addition, as part of a year-long anniversary celebration, Legacy Recordings plans to release a ‘Graceland’ 25th anniversary commemorative edition deluxe collector’s box set and a special two-disc set, each featuring the original album with bonus tracks and the director’s cut of ‘Under African Skies.’ Both are slated to drop this spring.

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