Producer Anant Singh revealed Tuesday that Barry Gibb, co-founder of the Bee Gees, has composed the song “Angels” for Oliver Schmitz’s “Shepherds and Butchers,” which will have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 13.
“Shepherds and Butchers,” which stars Steve Coogan (“Philomena”), Andrea Riseborough (“Birdman”) and Garion Dowds, is set at a time when apartheid is crumbling in South Africa. A hotshot lawyer faces his biggest test when he agrees to defend a white prison guard who has killed seven black men. What ensues is a compelling charge against the death penalty itself, in a case that changed history.
Gibb explained what spurred him to write the song: “We were just inspired by the film. The very thought of the way we all treat each other, and the inhumanity that we all tend to experience as a culture really struck us as profound, and of course, the film is profound. We do take a stand against capital punishment, and this is a cultural statement. Who enjoys the idea that we kill each other?”
“We travelled to Miami to screen the film for Barry and his family, as we knew he had strong views about the death penalty. They were so moved by the film that Barry wrote ‘Angels,’ which has complemented the message of the film. We felt that the song needed a strong South African flavor, and having Vusi Mahlasela, who is known as ‘The Voice’ of South Africa, perform with Barry, we achieved this resonance,” said Singh.
The track “Angels” plays over the closing credits of the film. It is written by Barry Gibb, Stephen Gibb and Ashley Gibb, and performed by Vusi Mahlasela with Barry Gibb.
The song is published by Crompton Songs (BMI), Tune O Matic Songs (BMI) and Gee Son Songs (BMI). All rights are administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
The film is produced by Singh (“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”) and Brian Cox (“Kite”) for Videovision Entertainment and Distant Horizon, and executive produced by Robert Naidoo, Sudhir Pragjee, Sanjeev Singh, Andrew Bonamour and Andrew Gill. WestEnd Films is handling international sales.