Knock on Wood| 13mins
Director: Ron Grunhut | Producer: Ron Grunhut
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: United States
"Knock on Wood" is about music and how a single individual can change the status quo. This short documentary is the story of percussionist Valerie Naranjo's groundbreaking trip to Ghana, where her quest to learn about and master an obscure West African xylophone led to an unexpected change in the tribe's relationship to its women.
The film follows Valerie's journey from New York to Ghana and back again, as she discovers the cultural importance of the musical instrument she has learned to love. When she is asked by a local chieftain to play for him and his council, her obvious talent for the instrument causes an unexpected controversy. Part performance and part biography the subject is presented in a way that invites the viewer into the experience of the music, the musician, and the people.