A beautifully done record of a very unusual event - and one that inadvertently serves as a testament to John Hartford, making it a very special document of musical history.
| Original Score: 4/5
Now if you're looking for an in-depth study of the music, look elsewhere. This movie is strictly about the one event [a benefit concert (for the Country Music Hall of Fame 2001)].
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Feels glossed over and incomplete.
| Original Score: 69/100
A film that's lovely to hear, though not much to look at.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The music is grand, the performances are direct and Down From the Mountain is unpretentious in its presentation of both.
In her performances and asides to the documentarians, it is Welch who best articulates why this music is so moving.
| Original Score: 3/4
Has the ease of a casual get-together by musicians who enjoy jamming with each other and who give us the privilege to sit there and listen and watch.
Hardly a groundbreaking concert movie, but it's a creditably agreeable one.
A Polaroid sprung to life.
| Original Score: 3/4
It's poor filmmaking, but wonderful music.
| Original Score: 3/5
It's impossible to deny the unalloyed joy that the film gives the spectator.
John Hartford is the uncle you wish to God you had had as a kid. And he can play that fiddle, too.
Like the old-timey music that inspired it, Down From the Mountain is sweet, serene and utterly unconcerned with polish.
Pennebaker must have realized that the songs -- the spiritual sounds of the deprived and underprivileged -- were the story, so he let the music do most of the talking. A wise move on his part.
There are plenty of musical highlights here.
A tender tribute to Hartford's spirit, and to the enduring value of the plaintive and celebratory music that emerged from this country's farm fields and front porches and backwoods churches.
The whole experience is wonderful -- and this is a film to own on videotape, since you'll probably want to play these songs again and again.
One of the rare concert films that successfully erases the distance between viewing audience and onscreen performers.
Roots-music lovers will find plenty here to applaud.
Frankly, it's shot and edited like a PBS special of average quality. But musically it's often breathtaking.