by Irene Chagall, 53′, USA, 2014
Let’s Get the Rhythm is a 53-minute video documentary chronicling girls’ handclapping games on inner-city playgounds and around the world, from every continent and many islands in between. Three eight-year old informants from diverse cultural backgrounds in the greater New York area charm viewers with their personal insights as they learn, share, and eventually outgrow the tradition. While drawing attention to the social importance of girls’ games, the documentary showcases archival footage from far-flung locations, even ancient Egyptian reliefs, and includes footage by Alan Lomax and Laura Boulton. Folklorist Bess Lomax Hawes and ethnomuicologist Kyra Gaunt accentuate the beauty of the beat with choice observations on the empowering force of this genre on the lives of women.