Thee Silver Mt Zion: Come Worry With Us!

(Canada, 2014, 80 mins, DCP)
In French & English with English subtitles
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Violinist Jessica Moss and singer/guitarist Efrim Menuck are struggling to balance parenthood with making music in their internationally acclaimed Montreal-based band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. They are one of a growing number of bands to have accepted an infant (Efrim and Jessica’s son, Ezra) into their touring life. Making a living has never been more difficult for musicians: a downloading generation has shattered the economics of the music industry, and constant touring has become synonymous with economic survival. Touring with children is both costly and complicated, yet Jessica and Efrim, and fellow band mates Sophie Trudeau, Thierry Amar and Dave Payant, are determined to combine family life and being on the road with the band’s deep political commitment. As SMZ perseveres in making art and an honest living, we follow Jessica as she discovers the parallel path that mothers can find themselves on while attempting to pursue artistic endeavours alongside their peers. Against a backdrop of intense competition and rapid technological change, where corporatization of the cultural industries is challenging the very notion of freedom, and where the distinction between life and work is constantly blurred, the film follows a growing generation of globalized artists struggling to remain “self-made” in spite unprecedented economic precariousness.

"It’s an immediate and engaging work that lets us share the weary rewards of doing what you love - even if you’re not sure you can make a living at it. 4 stars." Norm Wilner, NOW magazine