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Throw Down Your Heart (2008)

tomatometer

79

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 5

Throw Down Your Heart is an exuberant musical journey with an edge of sadness.

70

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 3

Throw Down Your Heart is an exuberant musical journey with an edge of sadness.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 236

My Rating

Movie Info

Béla Fleck is one of the world's most acclaimed banjo players and a musician who has sought to expand the boundaries of his instrument, having won awards for classical recordings and his many albums with the innovative jazz group Béla Fleck & the Flecktones as well as the bluegrass music most commonly associated with the banjo. The banjo has its origins in Africa, and Fleck traveled to the continent to study the instrument's history and collaborate with native musicians. Filmmaker Sascha

Oct 6, 2009

Oceanside Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (5)

This is an honest journey into discovery that reveals the connection music brings between cultures where commonality is not always easy to find.

August 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fleck is an ideal protagonist for a film about the adhesive power of music and inadequacy of speech. Even as the plot sags and he grasps clumsily for words, his fingers on the strings are almost momentum enough.

July 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is at least 20 minutes too long. By the time Fleck gets to the final stop, Mali, the film, directed by Sascha Paladino (a half-brother of Fleck), has worn out its welcome.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When Ms. Sangare sings a heartbreaking lament of "a worried songbird" searching for her father, you don't need to know the language to be gripped by the force of her cry.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fleck comes across as respectfully curious and eagerly collaborative while exploring the roots of his favorite musical instrument.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All the jams are fabulously stirring but not sappy, especially when Fleck duels with a Gambian man on a three-string akonting (forefather to the banjo), but there's nothing more to the film.

April 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Musician Bela Fleck brings the banjo back to Africa, where it originated. Overall, the music is terrific and the film's intentions are good. But less would have been more.

August 16, 2009 Full Review Source: About.com | Comment (1)
About.com

It's a journey long on affecting songs and musical passages, and short on scholarship -- and that works just fine for Fleck's intentions.

August 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As a record of a musical experiment, Sascha Paladino's film is a feast of stirring sounds and sights.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

If Fleck weren't such a gracious soul chasing the spirit of Sankofa, this could have been an exercise in exploitation of Graceland-ian proportions. But that's hardly the case on his magical musical mystery tour.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Fleck speaks more with his fingers than in conversation, and the pure musician-to-musician communications joyfully cross language barriers and instrument differences.

May 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Unbegrudgingly hands itself over to the music of its chosen subjects.

April 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

A beautiful illustration of powerlessness in the face of art.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: SpoutBlog
SpoutBlog

It's filled with lively, soulful musical performances that keeps you mostly compelled, but it eventually becomes somewhat dull and lacks enough profound insights, which ultimately leaves you feeling underwhelmed.

April 25, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Roll up, roll up, for Béla Fleck's harmonious heritage tour, satisfaction (more or less) guaranteed.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Fans of world music will enjoy the vibrant and spontaneous performances gathered here.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A musical adventure that follows an American banjo player to Africa where he discovers the power of music to bring people of very different cultures together.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The film fails as a personal diary due to Fleck's unflappable aloofness, and the performance footage is rendered unsatisfying by frequent interjections of expository material or cutaways to seaside B-roll that seems photographed for tourist brochures.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It reminds us that, in some of the most remote places in the world, people make beautiful music not as a means to fame and fortune but for a daily source of love and nourishment, like family, food and prayer.

April 10, 2009
Kansas City Star

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