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Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
A documentary crew followed Metallica for the better part of 2001-2003, a time of tension and release for the rock band, as they recorded their album St. Anger, fought bitterly, and sought the counsel of their on-call shrink.
Eleven-year-old New York City public school kids journey into the world of ballroom dancing and reveal pieces of themselves and their world along the way. Told from their candid, sometimes hilarious perspectives, these kids are transformed, from reluctant participants to determined competitors, from typical urban kids to "ladies and gentlemen," on their way to try to compete in the final citywide competition. Providing unique insight into the incredible cultural diversity that is New York City, this film profiles several kids from three schools (out of 60) at this dynamic age, when becoming that "cool" teenager vies for position with familiar innocence, while they learn the merengue, rumba, tango, the foxtrot and swing. Written by
Cinematographer Claudia Raschke held the camera at stomach level to keep it in line with the children's faces. See more »
Tiny boy with curly hair:
A girl and a boy loving each other, you know, really loving each other and being together and
[waxes lyrically for a while]
Tiny boy with curly hair:
... It is very beautiful!
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Some of the children add their observations about life in film clips during the credits. See more »
I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival that screens films for their Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "...explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.
This is a documentary that plays out like a story. Three fifth grade classes of different schools in diverse NYC learn ballroom dancing in order to compete in a citywide dance contest in downtown Manhatten. You watch the kids evolve from clumsy to close-to-graceful and from hesitant to confident.
The best part was that the kids ignored the camera. They didn't play to the camera at all. And ten year old kids are beautiful as they bounce back-and-forth from juvenile to young adult and back to juvenile in a matter of seconds.
The camera work and directing are interesting because you don't notice them. You feel you are the observer and not the camera. The movie simply looks honest and truthful.
FYI - There is a Truly Moving Picture web site where there is a listing of past winners going back 70 years.
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