Throw Down Your Heart Reviews
BĂ©la Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. He has won more than a dozen Grammy Awards.
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.