PAN! | Steel Pan Documentary Synopsis

PAN! Our Music Odyssey is a 2014 Steel Pan Documentary based in Trinidad & Tobago – the home of the Steel Pan instrument!

Documentary Film Synopsis

Between 1939 and 1945, during World War II, developed nations savaged one another: the planet was on fire. In Trinidad & Tobago (the Caribbean) underprivileged urban gangs created a new musical instrument, and perfected it by the 1950s.

The Pan is Born!

Since then steelbands have mushroomed in every corner of the planet. Still, Trinidad remains the Mecca, where each year philharmonic orchestras of over 100 musicians, many coming from all countries of the world, compete for the greatest Pan event: the Panaroma.This film is the story or men and women who staked all on their art, and of French, Japanese and Americans, whose passion and daring has drawn them to the world championships.  It is a global human adventure out of the ordinary.

Their stories are interlaced with re-enactments of the rags-to-riches tale of the steelband movement, which was born into poverty and violence but climbed to the highest levels of social and artistic acceptance without loosing its life-or-death urgency.

The dramatizations constitute a continuous narrative thread, which focuses on a pivotal moment in the history of pan, between 1947 and 1951. In this story a 19-year-old man nicknamed Goldteeth and his brother Roy, steal two 55-gallon oil drums to make their instruments, rather than the traditionally smaller paint cans. Their flight from the police and battles with the ferocious rival band, Red Army, leads them to finally sublimate this warfare into a peaceful musical battle.

    PAN! Our Music Odyssey is a transmedia project promoting the steelband movement internationally with an 80 minute docudrama, telling the human adventure of Pan from its genesis, through reenactment stories, to its propagation all around the world.