I finally got around to watching the documentary, “Throw Down Your Heart,” this weekend. It came out in 2008 and did the film fest circuit, then promptly went to DVD (it’s available as an instant watch option on Netflix).
“Throw Down Your Heart” documents banjo player Bela Fleck’s trip to Africa (Tanzania, Gambia, Mali, and Uganda), motivated by both his love of African music and his desire to trace the banjo’s roots back to the continent. The “real” story of the film, though, is Fleck’s collaboration with local musicians, and the moments when they all come together in a jam, whether frenetic or fretful (as in the case of a collaboration with Oumou Sangare), are special to witness.
Screenings of the film are still held once in a while–one just occurred last week in Illinois–so keep an eye on the doc’s website for upcoming dates.