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* GutturalGrowler: The basic sound of throat-singing, in which the singer focuses their vocalizing in their chest, and tries to produced several tones simultaneously. Paul is so skilled at producing a loud rumble that Kongar-ol nicknames him "Earthquake". In interviews outside this documentary Pena explained that he realized there was an affinity between throat-singing and the tradition of guttural vocals in {{Blues}} by the likes of Music/HowlinWolf.

to:

* GutturalGrowler: The basic sound of throat-singing, in which the singer focuses their vocalizing in their chest, and tries to produced vocalize several tones simultaneously. Paul is so skilled at producing a loud rumble that Kongar-ol nicknames him "Earthquake". In interviews outside this documentary Pena explained that he realized there was an affinity between throat-singing and the tradition of guttural vocals in {{Blues}} by the likes of Music/HowlinWolf.


* DoingItForTheArt [[invoked]]: Paul had no financial incentive to learn an arcane form of singing or travel halfway around the world to perform it. He did it purely out of his love for the music.

to:

* DoingItForTheArt [[invoked]]: DoingItForTheArt[[invoked]]: Paul had no financial incentive to learn an arcane form of singing or travel halfway around the world to perform it. He did it purely out of his love for the music.


* WorldMusic: The uniqueness of throat-singing began to gain it a worldwide audience in TheNineties (which is how Paul met Kondar-ol). Paul also invited Mario Casetta, who was an influential figure in publicizing international folk music in America, to join him in Tuva.

to:

* WorldMusic: The uniqueness of throat-singing began to gain it a worldwide audience in TheNineties (which is how Paul met Kondar-ol).Kongar-ol). Paul also invited Mario Casetta, who was an influential figure in publicizing international folk music in America, to join him in Tuva.

Added DiffLines:

* BuddyPicture: Anxious American {{blues}} rocker Paul Pena and laid-back, friendly Tuvan throat-singer Kongar-ol Ondar develop a strong rapport despite their obvious differences, putting much of the documentary in this category.


** Paul painstakingly rehearses a song by throat-singer [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Oidupaa Vladimir Oidupaa]] for the competition, then learns from Kongar-ol backstage before the performance that Oidupaa was in prison and was a very divisively controversial figure in Tuva. With five minutes to figure out a contingency plan, Paul ends up improvising a song using his limited knowledge of Tuvan, mostly FanFlattering about Tuva and its people, which gets a rapturous reception. So positive, in fact, that at the second performance he sings the Oidupaa song, knowing that the audience loved him enough to overlook any issues they might have with the song's background.

to:

** Paul painstakingly rehearses a song by throat-singer [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Oidupaa Vladimir Oidupaa]] for the competition, then learns from Kongar-ol backstage before the performance that Oidupaa was in prison and was a very divisively controversial figure in Tuva.Tuva (he was in the middle of serving a long prison sentence for murder). With five minutes to figure out a contingency plan, Paul ends up improvising a song using his limited knowledge of Tuvan, mostly FanFlattering about Tuva and its people, which gets a rapturous reception. So positive, in fact, that at the second performance he sings the Oidupaa song, knowing that the audience loved him enough to overlook any issues they might have with the song's background.


* BlindPeopleWearSunglasses: Very noticeably averted by Paul.



* UndesirablePrize: At least in Paul's eyes; the prize for winning the competition is a horse.

to:

* UndesirablePrize: At least in Paul's eyes; for Paul; the prize for winning the competition is a horse.

Added DiffLines:

* DoingItForTheArt [[invoked]]: Paul had no financial incentive to learn an arcane form of singing or travel halfway around the world to perform it. He did it purely out of his love for the music.


* CursedItem: After a while, things start to take a bad turn for the main figures in the film. Paul's medication starts to run out and he considers cutting the trip short, but then can't book a flight out. Mario suffers a heart attack. Kongar-ol gets in a fight with a man who confronts him on the street and breaks his hand. Serious consideration is given to the possibility that a shaman's drum Paul bought may have gotten all of them cursed. But after a shaman examines the drum, they get an all-clear and everyone's situation improves.

to:

* CursedItem: After a while, things start to take a bad turn for the main figures in the film. Paul's medication starts anxiety and depression medications start to run out and he considers cutting the trip short, but then can't book a flight out. Mario suffers a heart attack. Kongar-ol gets in a fight with a man who confronts him on the street and breaks his hand. Serious consideration is given to the possibility that a shaman's drum Paul bought may have gotten all of them cursed. But after a shaman examines the drum, they get an all-clear and everyone's situation improves.



* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: [[ZigzaggingTrope Zig-zagged]], since Paul's blindness makes his mastery of a wholly different musical culture and language extremely impressive, but in the film he makes several comments about how his sightlessness sometimes means that he doesn't fully know what's happening in a situation, and how disoriented he can feel in crowds.

to:

* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: [[ZigzaggingTrope Zig-zagged]], since Paul's blindness makes his mastery of a wholly different musical culture and language extremely impressive, but in the film he makes several comments about how his sightlessness sometimes means that is a factor in his issues with depression. He talks about how he often doesn't fully know what's happening in a situation, situation because he can't see, and how disoriented he can feel in crowds.


** Paul painstakingly rehearses a song for the competition, then learns from Kongar-ol backstage before the performance that the composer is now in prison and the audience would disapprove. With five minutes to figure out a contingency plan, Paul ends up improvising a song using his limited knowledge of Tuvan, mostly FanFlattering about Tuva and its people, which gets a rapturous reception. So positive, in fact, at the second performance he sings the song he originally rehearsed, knowing that the audience loved him enough to overlook any problems with the song's background.

to:

** Paul painstakingly rehearses a song by throat-singer [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Oidupaa Vladimir Oidupaa]] for the competition, then learns from Kongar-ol backstage before the performance that the composer is now Oidupaa was in prison and the audience would disapprove.was a very divisively controversial figure in Tuva. With five minutes to figure out a contingency plan, Paul ends up improvising a song using his limited knowledge of Tuvan, mostly FanFlattering about Tuva and its people, which gets a rapturous reception. So positive, in fact, that at the second performance he sings the song he originally rehearsed, Oidupaa song, knowing that the audience loved him enough to overlook any problems issues they might have with the song's background.


* CursedItem: After a while, things start to take a bad turn for the main figures in the film. Paul's medication starts to run out and he considers cutting the trip short, but then can't book a flight out. Mario suffers a heart attack. Kongar-ol gets in a fight with a man who confronts him on the street and breaks his hand. Serious consideration is given to the possibility that a shaman's drum Paul bought may have led to a curse. But after a shaman examines the drum, they get an all-clear and everyone's situation improves.

to:

* CursedItem: After a while, things start to take a bad turn for the main figures in the film. Paul's medication starts to run out and he considers cutting the trip short, but then can't book a flight out. Mario suffers a heart attack. Kongar-ol gets in a fight with a man who confronts him on the street and breaks his hand. Serious consideration is given to the possibility that a shaman's drum Paul bought may have led to a curse.gotten all of them cursed. But after a shaman examines the drum, they get an all-clear and everyone's situation improves.

Added DiffLines:

* WorldMusic: The uniqueness of throat-singing began to gain it a worldwide audience in TheNineties (which is how Paul met Kondar-ol). Paul also invited Mario Casetta, who was an influential figure in publicizing international folk music in America, to join him in Tuva.


The film's central figure is SingerSongwriter Paul Pena (19502005). Best known for writing the Music/SteveMillerBand hit "Jet Airliner", Pena was a BlindMusician with eclectic influences. Despondent after the death of his wife, Pena became interested in listening to language lesson programs on shortwave radio. In 1984 he was tuning around for a Korean lesson, but instead picked up a Radio Moscow broadcast of unusual singing and became intrigued. He learned that it was the throat-singing tradition of Tuva, a small republic that's officially part of Siberia, wedged between it and UsefulNotes/{{Mongolia}}, and set about teaching himself both the singing style and the Tuvan language. His vocalizing impressed Tuvan singing master Kongar-ol Ondar, who went on tour in America in TheNineties, and Kongar-ol invited Pena to Tuva to take part in a 1995 throat-singing symposium and competition. The documentary follows Pena and several associates as they travel from Pena's home in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco to the remote outpost and learn about the culture of the land as it tries to recover its heritage and identity after the fall of the Soviet Union.

A low-key film shot on video, it became a SleeperHit among documentary fans, winning an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival and getting nominated for the UsefulNotes/AcademyAwardForBestDocumentaryFeature. It also brought new attention to Pena and his music.

to:

The film's central figure is SingerSongwriter Paul Pena (19502005).Pena. Best known for writing the Music/SteveMillerBand hit "Jet Airliner", Pena was a BlindMusician with eclectic influences. Despondent after the death of his wife, Pena became interested in listening to language lesson programs on shortwave radio. In 1984 he was tuning around for a Korean lesson, but instead picked up a Radio Moscow broadcast of unusual singing and became intrigued. He learned that it was the throat-singing tradition of Tuva, a small republic that's officially part of Siberia, wedged between it and UsefulNotes/{{Mongolia}}, and set about teaching himself both the singing style and the Tuvan language. His vocalizing impressed Tuvan singing master Kongar-ol Ondar, who went on tour in America in TheNineties, and Kongar-ol invited Pena to Tuva to take part in a 1995 throat-singing symposium and competition. The documentary follows Pena and several associates as they travel from Pena's home in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco to the remote outpost and learn about the culture of the land as it tries to recover its heritage and identity after the fall of the Soviet Union.

A low-key film shot on video, it became a SleeperHit among documentary fans, winning an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival and getting nominated for the UsefulNotes/AcademyAwardForBestDocumentaryFeature. It also brought new attention to Pena and his music.
music. Sadly, both Pena (in 2005 at age 55 from pancreatitis and diabetes) and Kongar-ol Ondar (in 2013 at age 51 from a brain hemorrhage) ended up suffering untimely deaths.


The film's central figure is SingerSongwriter Paul Pena (19502005). Best known for writing the Music/SteveMillerBand hit "Jet Airliner", Pena was a BlindMusician with eclectic influences. Despondent after the death of his wife, Pena became interested in listening to language lesson programs on shortwave radio. In 1984 he was tuning around for a Korean lesson, but instead picked up a Radio Moscow broadcast of unusual singing and became intrigued. He learned that it was the throat-singing tradition of Tuva, a small republic that's officially part of Siberia, wedged bewteen it and UsefulNotes/{{Mongolia}}, and set about teaching himself both the singing style and the Tuvan language. His vocalizing impressed Tuvan singing master Kongar-ol Ondar, who went on tour in America in TheNineties, and Kongar-ol invited Pena to Tuva to take part in a 1995 throat-singing symposium and competition. The documentary follows Pena and several associates as they travel from Pena's home in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco to the remote outpost and learn about the culture of the land as it tries to recover its heritage and identity after the fall of the Soviet Union.

to:

The film's central figure is SingerSongwriter Paul Pena (19502005). Best known for writing the Music/SteveMillerBand hit "Jet Airliner", Pena was a BlindMusician with eclectic influences. Despondent after the death of his wife, Pena became interested in listening to language lesson programs on shortwave radio. In 1984 he was tuning around for a Korean lesson, but instead picked up a Radio Moscow broadcast of unusual singing and became intrigued. He learned that it was the throat-singing tradition of Tuva, a small republic that's officially part of Siberia, wedged bewteen between it and UsefulNotes/{{Mongolia}}, and set about teaching himself both the singing style and the Tuvan language. His vocalizing impressed Tuvan singing master Kongar-ol Ondar, who went on tour in America in TheNineties, and Kongar-ol invited Pena to Tuva to take part in a 1995 throat-singing symposium and competition. The documentary follows Pena and several associates as they travel from Pena's home in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco to the remote outpost and learn about the culture of the land as it tries to recover its heritage and identity after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/genghis_blues.png]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Left to right: Kongar-ol Ondar, Paul Pena]]

''Genghis Blues'' is a 1999 {{Documentary}} directed by Roko Belic.

The film's central figure is SingerSongwriter Paul Pena (19502005). Best known for writing the Music/SteveMillerBand hit "Jet Airliner", Pena was a BlindMusician with eclectic influences. Despondent after the death of his wife, Pena became interested in listening to language lesson programs on shortwave radio. In 1984 he was tuning around for a Korean lesson, but instead picked up a Radio Moscow broadcast of unusual singing and became intrigued. He learned that it was the throat-singing tradition of Tuva, a small republic that's officially part of Siberia, wedged bewteen it and UsefulNotes/{{Mongolia}}, and set about teaching himself both the singing style and the Tuvan language. His vocalizing impressed Tuvan singing master Kongar-ol Ondar, who went on tour in America in TheNineties, and Kongar-ol invited Pena to Tuva to take part in a 1995 throat-singing symposium and competition. The documentary follows Pena and several associates as they travel from Pena's home in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco to the remote outpost and learn about the culture of the land as it tries to recover its heritage and identity after the fall of the Soviet Union.

A low-key film shot on video, it became a SleeperHit among documentary fans, winning an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival and getting nominated for the UsefulNotes/AcademyAwardForBestDocumentaryFeature. It also brought new attention to Pena and his music.

!!Tropes:

* CursedItem: After a while, things start to take a bad turn for the main figures in the film. Paul's medication starts to run out and he considers cutting the trip short, but then can't book a flight out. Mario suffers a heart attack. Kongar-ol gets in a fight with a man who confronts him on the street and breaks his hand. Serious consideration is given to the possibility that a shaman's drum Paul bought may have led to a curse. But after a shaman examines the drum, they get an all-clear and everyone's situation improves.
* ForeignCultureFetish: Paul not only learns how to throat-sing, he also learns Tuvan (which, since there wasn't a Tuvan-to-English dictionary, necessitated him translating Tuvan words to Russian, then to English), and even starts studying Tuvan shamanism, which makes the visit to Tuva a fulfillment of a longtime dream. But his interest clearly comes from a place of respect, and since Pena is himself a person of color (born into a family of immigrants from UsefulNotes/CapeVerde), there aren't any MightyWhitey issues.
* FriendToAllChildren: An early scene in Tuva shows Kongar-ol teaching an enthusiastic class of youngsters the basics of throat-singing, and Paul even manages to strike up a rapport with them.
* GloriousMotherRussia: Since they need to get a connecting flight in Moscow to make it to Tuva, there a few shots of this nature, but the majority of the documentary shows how Tuva is its own cultural pocket without a lot of Russian influence. It's touched on in a few interviews how Tuva joined the Soviet Union in 1944, only to have the Soviets exert heavy cultural hegemony on the Tuvans, forbidding them to wear traditional clothing or speak the language.
* TheGhost: UsefulNotes/RichardFeynman, who died seven years before the documentary was filmed, is an important figure in the story, because his recollection of collecting a stamp from Tuva as a child (when it was an indepedent nation) led him and his friend Ralph Leighton to become utterly fascinated with the country, starting a group called Friends of Tuva, and opening a mail correspondence with several Tuvans (Leighton carried the torch for Tuva after Feynman died, and befriended Pena as he sought to learn more about Tuva and throat-singing). Feynman spent the last few years of his life trying to organize a trip to Tuva (chronicled by Leighton in the book ''Tuva or Bust!''), so Pena and his entourage viewed Feynman as a travel partner in spirit.
* GutturalGrowler: The basic sound of throat-singing, in which the singer focuses their vocalizing in their chest, and tries to produced several tones simultaneously. Paul is so skilled at producing a loud rumble that Kongar-ol nicknames him "Earthquake". In interviews outside this documentary Pena explained that he realized there was an affinity between throat-singing and the tradition of guttural vocals in {{Blues}} by the likes of Music/HowlinWolf.
* HiddenElfVillage: Tuva has this feel at times, being amazingly remote (it takes Paul and his entourage two days worth of flying to get there), with things like herding and shamanism still a vital part of the culture.
* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: [[ZigzaggingTrope Zig-zagged]], since Paul's blindness makes his mastery of a wholly different musical culture and language extremely impressive, but in the film he makes several comments about how his sightlessness sometimes means that he doesn't fully know what's happening in a situation, and how disoriented he can feel in crowds.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Pena's touring party to Tuva has this feel, with Paul himself, plus recording engineer and confidant Lemon [=DeGeorge=], septuagenarian radio host Mario Casetta (one of the first American [=DJs=] to play WorldMusic) plus director Roko Belic and his brother Adrian. The colorful Kongar-ol Ondar basically becomes one of the gang once they reach Tuva.
* SirSwearsALot: Paul cusses a bit, including a few F-bombs.
* SuspiciouslyAproposMusic: While the Steve Miller Band version of "Jet Airliner" is briefly played early in the film, Pena's original 1973 version (which was unreleased at time the film debuted) accompanies the scenes of the flight(s) to Tuva. While the airplane connection is obvious, a lot of the lyrics end up applying to the story quite well.
-->You gotta go through hell before you get to heaven.
* TitleDrop: Not word-for-word, but the title relates to one voiceover that explains how UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan had deep respect for Tuva when it was part of the Mongol Empire, and is still revered as a hero there.
* TravelogueShow: Paul's stay is Tuva is bookended by his competition performances, but in-between Kongar-ol leads him and the others on a tour of the Tuvan countryside.
* UndesirablePrize: At least in Paul's eyes; the prize for winning the competition is a horse.
* WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants [[invoked]]:
** Paul painstakingly rehearses a song for the competition, then learns from Kongar-ol backstage before the performance that the composer is now in prison and the audience would disapprove. With five minutes to figure out a contingency plan, Paul ends up improvising a song using his limited knowledge of Tuvan, mostly FanFlattering about Tuva and its people, which gets a rapturous reception. So positive, in fact, at the second performance he sings the song he originally rehearsed, knowing that the audience loved him enough to overlook any problems with the song's background.
** Paul is also shown composing songs about his journey to Tuva while he's there.
* XtremeKoolLetterz: In a voiceover from an older interview, UsefulNotes/RichardFeynman says that one reason he fell in love with Tuva was the fact that its capital city is called Kyzyl (pronounced ''kih-ZIL'', from the Tuvan word for "red").

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