Playing for Change: Peace Through Music

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***** (Five stars)
In New York, the background cacophony of the everyday makes for a pretty rowdy personal soundtrack. However, there are a handful of times when it pays not to tune it all out—for instance, those unexpected moments when a street musician passing through one's subway car begins to play something…good. It is this scenario that preoccupies Playing for Change, a documentary that profiles (and ultimately unites) street musicians around the globe. As director Mark Johnson explains, “Sometimes the best music is in the moment.” His inspired film bounces around California, Barcelona, South Africa and a post-Katrina New Orleans, reminding us that music really is a universal language, and leaving us wishing that more people could appreciate that.—Jamie Mandel, marketing coordinator

[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.]

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Director: Mark Johnson, Jonathan Walls
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