LOWDOWN TRACKS

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(Shel­ley Say­well, Canada). 86 min­utes. Rat­ing: NNNN Shel­ley Say­well’s pro­file of home­less mu­si­cians makes for an inspiring ode to the power of mu­sic to sus­tain peo­ple living on the mar­gins.

She and her on-screen an­i­ma­tor, Lor­raine Se­gato, en­cour­aged gifted play­ers living in the streets and in en­camp­ments to tell their sto­ries and shed light on what brought them to their des­per­ate cir­cum­stances. It’s a valu­able so­ci­ol­ogy les­son, and the tales of abuse, bu­reau­cratic bungling and fi­nan­cial hard­ship are heart­break­ing.

And the tal­ent is won­drous. Wen­dell Cormier, who was forced to get elec­troshock treat­ments, sounds like Gor­don Light­foot, and singer/song­writer Maryann Epp is an inspiring com­bi­na­tion of anger and wit.

Get out the kleenex when Se­gato takes them into her stu­dio to record their songs with her band.

Apr 25, 8: 30 pm, TIFF 2; Apr 27, 6: 30 pm; Sco­tia­bank 3; May 2, 6: 30 pm, Sco­tia bank 8.

Lowdown Tracks

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