Throw Down Your Heart (2008)
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This is an honest journey into discovery that reveals the connection music brings between cultures where commonality is not always easy to find.
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.
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.
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.
Fleck comes across as respectfully curious and eagerly collaborative while exploring the roots of his favorite musical instrument.
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