“I, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, I am a sinner, man of heart impure and dark, it is like a mantle that is dotted with spots of stain and dirt. The recital of Allah's Name purifies the heart, that’s what I do all the time, recite the words. This is my job, my task, my favorite hobby. I am a fakir, a beggar for Allah and wander the streets shouting His Name. Remember God in pain, in pleasure; He will wash away the pain. People remember God only when they are in adversity, if they remember Him in good times, they will never have pain and will never experience adversity.” – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, A Voice from Heaven
Monday, 16 August, 2021, marked the 24th death anniversary of Shahenshah-e-Qawwali, namely Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – a Pakistani composer, music director, musician, qawwal and a vocalist – accredited with the introduction of qawwali across the globe. The following selection of 3 documentaries pays homage to the deathless legacy of the virtuoso.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: le dernier prophète
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: le dernier prophète is a 58-minute documentary film directed by Jérôme de Missolz – a French author, cinematographer, director, documentary filmmaker and journalist – on the maestro’s role as an ambassador of world music. The documentary film showcases concert performances in Chicago, Pakistan and Paris, interviews with Michael Brook and Peter Gabriel, and intimate Qawwali sessions with members of the talented musical family. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: le dernier prophète was released on January 1, 1996.
Nusrat has Left the Building... But When?
Nusrat has Left the Building... But When? is a 20-minute documentary drama directed by Farjad Nabi – a Pakistani cinematographer, director, documentary filmmaker, film producer and writer – on the metamorphic career of Shahenshah-e-Qawwali. The documentary drama traces the virtuoso’s “early roots in pure [S]ufi music before and after he exploded on the international scene” via animation, excerpts from concerts and music videos and renditions. Nusrat has Left the Building... But When? was released in 1997.
A Voice from Heaven
A Voice from Heaven is a 75-minute feature documentary directed by Giuseppe Asaro – an Italian American cinematographer, director, and film producer – introducing the career and life of the sempiternal phenomenon. The feature documentary features “a man and his music of peace and spiritual love” via interviews conducted with artists, friends and producers he had collaborated with comprising the Asian Dub Foundation (ADF), Bally Sagoo, Michael Brook and Rick Rubin, among others, performance footage and a rare behind the scene glimpse into his life. A Voice from Heaven was released on October 28, 1999.