Throw Down Your Heart | Chicago Reader

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97 minutes

Documentary, Musical
This earnest 2008 doc follows banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck on a sojourn through sub-Saharan Africa, supposedly to explore the roots of his chosen instrument but actually just to jam with regional musicians. The resulting musical fusions are often sublime, but when he puts down his banjo Fleck could be upstaged by a bowl of manioc porridge, and it's exasperating to see this framed as a voyage of discovery rather than a standard pilgrimage for NPR house musicians. Still, director Sascha Paladino came up writing for Nick Jr.'s Wonder Pets, which wins him points with me.
Director: Sascha Paladino
Cast: Bela Fleck

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