Throw Down Your Heart Reviews
April 10, 2011
This documentary is full of emotion, adventure, and wonderful music. The brave and virtuosic Béla Fleck takes the banjo in the only direction left untraveled by him, directly into its African roots. With a humble spirit and collaborative skills honed over a lifetime of performing and recording, Béla and his fellow travelers and hosts create an enchanting narrative that leaps from one African culture to another, each with its own deep traditions, players, and instrumentation. With a hypnotic energy, the music will lift your heart and make you feel like dancing. Celebrate life, music, and the banjo and enjoy this film!
May 10, 2013
I may be biased on this one. As a huge Fleck fan, I saw the premier in Central Park after a particularly awesome concert. It was a neat experience.
November 6, 2012
Bela Fleck compels this documentary forward through his skilled playing, but it still feels repetitive and lacking the substance and weight that many other documentarians, such as Herzog, seem to portray and capture. It is a beautiful look into Africa and the culture of music there.
July 1, 2012
Wonderful panoramic view of the music of sub-Saharan Africa and an American's collaboration with these superb musicians.
May 28, 2011
For the love of music. Awesome movie :)
April 27, 2010
My favorite stuff: music and culture and travel. Outstanding study of a great musician seeking other musicians, except he couldn't use craigslist to find these dudes. Bela loves the people he meets, and his humbling demeanor ingratiates and enriches those people as they do for him. One of those 'if you do not like it, what planet are you living on' movies.
October 25, 2009
An enjoyable hour and a half in the theater that would have been even more enjoyable had it been 70 minutes or so.
The movie's strengths: the music and the musicians. Discovering these talents and these instruments was a real surprise and a true joy. And Bela Fleck helped. He came across as a quiet, accepting and appreciative participant, less the star than the student (though his prodigious talent is quite evident.)
As a movie; i.e., a story as well as a visual and auditory experience; I was somewhat less impressed. It was choppy and it rambled like the filmmaker was exploring the neck of the banjo for a new tune. While there were charming personal moments, like the exchange between his Ugandan host and the host's wife, and some good footage of African life (I speak from seven years living in Africa and travels to over 20 African countries), the bouncing around, the switchbacks from house to house, artist to artist, were somewhat disorienting. And, it was at least 15 minutes too long. Far too many tidy closing scenes were passed up for another musical lick or mildly heartwarming exchange.
In the end, however, the music and the feeling that you've shared a simple journey of discovery win out and you leave the theater thankful that you've been invited.