Let Your Feet Do The Talkin'


Let Your Feet Do The Talkin' tells the story of buckdancing legend Thomas Maupin, who, at the age of 70, remains one of the greatest old-time dancers in America. The film presents a portrait of a man in the twilight of his life reflecting back on his legacy as a father, teacher, and artist. Numerous awards, trophies, and plaques lay stacked in a dresser in rural Tennessee where Thomas spends his weeks tending his garden, feeding the animals, and fixing the occasional lawn mower. However, on the weekends, Thomas travels all over the South performing anywhere there's a band and some flat ground; be it giant stages, historic theatres, or crowded street corners, almost always accompanied by his grandson, Daniel. At the age of 16 years old, Daniel has become a prominent old-time banjo player who, with his quick wit, hot licks and uncanny showmanship, rarely finishes a song without a standing ovation. "Music is a way for us to communicate," says Thomas, "he speaks with his banjo and I let my feet do the talkin'." Even though Thomas and Daniel excel without each other, it's apparent there is something more when they perform together; a magic and beauty that cannot be described with words, but comes across vividly on film. Framed between Thomas' recovery from cancer and his acceptance of a nationally recognized award, this piece presents a deeply personal look at a folk icon. Even though the film's narrative is rooted in an American tradition, Thomas' experience transcends nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures and appeals to emotions that are universal; leaving the audience with not only the story of a man, but a greater understanding of the human condition. In spite of the heartaches and hardships he has encountered, Thomas has never stopped dancing, gaining him adoration, distinction, and most importantly, happiness. Let Your Feet Do The Talkin' asks the question, "What drives us to perform?" and examines music's ability to form and strengthen relationships and lift us above our circumstances. Directed by Stewart Copeland. 30-minute documentary with special features including deleted scenes, live performances, a dance workshop, Hear Your Banjo Play, (the 1947 documentary narrated by Pete Seeger with performances by Woody Guthrie and Sonny Terry), and Jennifer, a 2008 short film by Stewart Copeland. Housed in a digipak case, including a booklet with an introduction to buckdancing essay by Phil Jamison of Warren Wilson College and a list of all of Thomas Maupin's first place awards in dancing. Program run time: 30min/Total run time 1 hour 49min. Stereo Audio; Color; Aspect Ratio: 16x9 letter-boxed; NTSC format, Region-Free.