Satan and Adam

Filmmaker: V. Scott Balcerek
Runtime: 80 min

Synopsis: A celebration of the transformative power of music, and the bonds that develop when artists collaborate and worlds collide, the film follows Satan & Adam, a blues duo and a fixture on Harlem’s sidewalks in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Director V. Scott Balcerek pulls together over two decades of documentary footage to chart the duo’s trajectory from busking int he streets of Harlem, where they were happened upon by U2 who were filming for their Rattle and Hum documentary, to bigger and bigger stages, depicting the challenges that both had to overcome to keep Satan & Adam and their friendship together. Playing for years with artists including James Brown, Etta James and Marvin Gaye, SterlingMagee experienced the music industry’s exploitation of black musicians firsthand. So he walked away to play on the Harlem streets for “his people.” Reborn as Satan, he spread his gospel of freedom and became a New York City legend. When a white Jewish Ivy league scholar and musician named Adam Gussow asked if he could join him one day, both their lives took a powerful turn. Adam put aside the ivory tower life to play in the streets, and Sterling’s embrace of his younger apprentice forged a sound that thrust him back in the spotlight. But life on the road took its toll on the duo, and suddenly Sterling vanished without a trace. The separation would test both men’s courage, and their journey to find each other again a tale of tragedy, survival and miraculous rebirth.


About the Filmmaker

V. Scott Balcerek is a filmmaker and musician. Scott edited MORE THAN A GAME, a feature documentaryabout LeBron James, which was released by Lionsgate and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. He directed REPLAY, a branded doc series that received numerous advertising accolades, including eight Gold Lions at Cannes. Prior, Scott was the Senior Visual Effects Editor for George Lucas’ Star Wars films, Episodes I and II, as well as Ang Lee’s THE HULK and Wolfgang Petersen’s THE PERFECT STORM. Scott attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles while editing a short documentary, Street Songs, which received a Student Academy Award. He has been shooting SATAN & ADAM for over 20 years. It is his first feature film as a director.