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Top 5: Reel Rhythms Film Festival

The soundtrack’s the thing at the “Reel Rhythms” Film Festival.

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High Note: Cambodian flutist Arn Chorn-Pond, of The Flute Player.  

1. The Flute Player
Jocelyn Glatzer’s documentary depicts how Arn Chorn-Pond, son of Cambodian opera stars, managed to survive the Khmer Rouge—and how he’s struggling to sustain traditional Cambodian music. On April 10, Chorn-Pond will perform after the screening.

2. Alan Lomax Retrospective
Americana addicts take note: “Reel Rhythms” will screen a full slate of films containing the singular folklorist’s rare archival footage, including Appalachian Journey, Cajun Country, and the down-and-dirty-blues documentary Devil Got My Money.

3. Amandla! A Revolution In Four-Part Harmony
A Sundance award winner, this sharp documentary about black South African freedom music explains how such upbeat music thrived in the brutal context of apartheid.

4. The Harder They Come
Full of swagger, soul, and sun, Jimmy Cliff’s 1973 battle against the crooked cops and record executives of Kingston, Jamaica, is quintessentially cool: a seventies classic.

5. Awaara
Bollywood legend Raj Kapoor stars as a Chaplinesque tramp in this 1951 epic, a nearly three-hour symphony of crime, passion, and family angst that became a worldwide hit—and a favorite of Mao Tse-tung’s—thanks in large part to its singular dream sequence.

The Details
Through May 15, 2004
Symphony Space/The Leonard Nimoy Thalia, 2537 Broadway, at 95th St.; 212-864-5400; $9; see symphonyspace.org for more information


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