STRUGGLE NO MORE
Produced and directed by Costa Botes
When blues loving teenager Bill Lake moved from Australia to New Zealand in 1968 to escape the Vietnam War draft, he took with him a box full of priceless old blues records and a harmonica. He formed a band and called it the Windy City Strugglers, because Wellington, the city he'd moved to, was famously windy, just like Chicago. The other half of their name echoed that of the Mobile Strugglers, one of the African-American 1920's era country blues jug bands that Lake adored.
Four decades later, the Strugglers are still playing and recording. They have evolved from being a band playing old blues covers into an originals unit of striking originality and depth. While still drawing on deep roots of Americana, the Strugglers now make music that speaks more about their own country. They might even be described as New Zealand's answer to the Buena Vista Social Club, if they weren't all younger than the Rolling Stones (albeit barely). Also their music is more black and blue than salsa.
The film traces the ups and downs of the Strugglers long career, focusing on their stubborn refusal to conform to the bent rules of the music business. Funny and passionate, Struggle No More explodes the conventional myth of the 'struggling artist' and arrives at a conclusion that's guaranteed to warm the heart of anyone with a soft spot for a battler.
Struggle No More has been selected to screen at the Wild River Music, Comedy, and Film Festival in St Paul, Minnesota, early September 2006.
Documentary Channel showing
The Lumiere Reader (NZ) - review
Buy - Struggle No More