Iomax the Songhunter

  • Rogier Kappers
  • Netherlands, Finland
  • 2004
  • 90 min
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance
Alan Lomax was “the song hunter.” He devoted his entire life to recording folk tunes before they would permanently disappear under the influence of the modern music industry. When director Rogier Kappers visited him in Florida in the summer of 2001, shortly before his death, a brain haemorrhage had left the 86-year-old Lomax unable to speak. Therefore, Kappers portrays him on the basis of accounts by associates, relatives and friends, and incorporates old footage of interviews with Lomax. Kappers has access to the many recordings in sound and image that Lomax and his associates made of traditional music. He films in the American Library of Congress, for which Lomax recorded Afro-American music in prisons. A librarian there shows him a wax cylinder that Lomax and his father used to record music in 1933. Travelling around and shooting from his van, and with Lomax’s travel notes in voiceover, Kappers manages to find people whom Lomax recorded decades before. On a remote Scottish island, he locates a woman who knows almost four hundred songs by heart. And in a small Spanish village, upon hearing the old recordings, the villagers take out bagpipes and start singing again, just like in the past.


  • 90 min
  • color
  • video
Rogier Kappers
Joost Verheij for MM Filmprodukties
Adri Schrover
Jos Driessen
Harold Jalving

IDFA history

IDFA Competition for First Appearance

IDFA Competition for First Appearance

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IDFA history

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