Throw Down Your Heart

Throw Down Your Heart

5.0 1
Director: Sascha Paladino, Béla Fleck

Cast: Sascha Paladino, Béla Fleck

     
 
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

Overview

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 Paladino joined Fleck for his journey, and Throw Down Your Heart is a documentary which follows the banjo virtuoso as he travels through Gambia, Mali, Tanzania, and Uganda, meeting with historians and musicologists and making music with artists from all walks of life, ranging from world music stars like Bassekou Kouyate and Oumou Sangare to ordinary people who share the love and joy of making music. Throw Down Your Heart was an official entry at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/03/2009
UPC:
0767685158463
Original Release:
2008
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Video Group
Time:
1:37:00
Sales rank:
50,602

Special Features

Audio commentary with Béla Fleck and director Sascha Paladino; Over an hour of bonus scenes and musical performances

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart
1. Jinja, Uganda [6:56]
2. Giant Marimba of Nakisenyi [8:22]
3. Haruna Walusimbi [2:37]
4. Ateso Jazz Band [4:42]
5. The Women of Nakisenyi [5:25]
6. Anania Ngoliga [7:39]
7. The Zawose Family [15:34]
8. The Jatta Family [9:37]
9. Chapter 9Djelimady Tounkara [5:53]
10. Bassekou Kouyate [6:04]
11. Harouna Samake [10:14]
12. Oumou Sangare [13:57]

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Throw Down Your Heart 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jazz_grass_fan More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of banjo-player Bela Fleck since I first saw the New Grass Revival in 1986. Over the years, he has explored myriad forms of music with the banjo, from breakdowns to jazz and beyond. This wonderful documentary recounts his recent trip to Africa where he seeks the ancestors of his instrument. He visits several countries and encounters some of the most amazing musicians whom you have probably never heard of: the film is full of great performances and interviews that really let you into their lives. Particularly memorable is the village that has a giant marimba, made of tuned logs over a pit that is long enough to allow many players at once: the collective percussion builds and builds until it is totally mesmerizing. Another scene shows a group of women singing as they work, and you come to realize that music and rhythm are essential parts of their everyday lives. As the film progresses you are introduced to a number of musicians who are well known locally, and when they and Bela play together it is often magical. Bela comes across as very low-key and almost shy - one singer comments that he might not say a lot with words, but once he starts to play, his music is the best form of communication. The film-maker happens to be Bela's much younger half brother, and he proves to be a talented and sensitive director. I was especially struck by the origin of the title - it is explained at a coastal area where natives captured for slavery arrived from the interior. Once they saw the ocean, they knew what their fate would be: a long voyage, never seeing their homes again - no wonder they "threw down their hearts" in despair. But this sadness is fleeting - mostly what you remember of the people from this film is their incredible warmth and vitality. As one musician notes early on, Africa offers a lot more than the bad news so often associated with it. The beautiful music and engaging performers from this film certainly offer testimony to his statement. And there are some touches of humor as well, such as when Bela performs at a club with a band and an admiring customer comes up and tucks some money in his shirt. In all, I strongly recommend this film to all Bela Fleck fans, as well as to anyone who is interested in learning more about the incredible music of Africa. The DVD also includes extra footage and performances.