Stink director Salomon Ligthelm coaxes performances that will catch your breath for raw, acoustic number Mary, Don’t You Weep, writes Laura Swinton
The first Prince music video following the iconic maestro’s death is a poignant depiction of the consequence of gun violence. Shot by director Salomon Ligthelm, the promo for Mary, Don’t You Weep, is light on melodrama as it opts for subtle, tender and detailed performances. It shows a mother struggling to process the death of her son.
Mary, Don’t You Weep is a 19th century spiritual that features on a new album, Piano & A Microphone, 1983. Released by The Prince Estate in partnership with Warner Bros Records, the album is a nine track album that features a previously unreleased 1983 home studio recording of Prince playing solo at his piano.
Rising star Salomon earned the honour of directing the first posthumous Prince promo - and you can see why with the strength of his vision and energy. Showing a deft directorial hand, Salomon coaxes tender and delicate performances from his actors. A quivering hand, a heavy sigh, a pause – this is an exploration of grief that feels all too real.
The idea behind the video ties in with Prince’s past activist work; in 2015 the musician responded to the death in police custody of young African American Freddie Gray by releasing the protest song Baltimore and hosting a tribute concert in the city on Mother’s Day, Rally 4 Peace.
The video opens with the “The system is broken. It’s going to take young people to fix it. We need new ideas, new life…” – a quote from a speech Prince made at Rally 4 Peace. And it closes with the equally powerful quote, ‘Compassion is an action world with no boundaries’.