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Barbara Borden: Keeper of the Beat

David L. Brown
David L. Brown
Barbara Borden lies among various drums.

"Barbara Borden: Keeper of the Beat" is a documentary about how a little girl obsessed with drumming develops into a pioneering world-class drummer and teacher who brings joy and inspiration to four continents. It tells her uplifting life-story in eloquent words and toe-tapping music.

The film weaves footage from "She Dares to Drum," Borden’s autobiographical “percussion play,” and other dynamic performances from the last four decades, with interviews from noted artists, students, family and friends who know her and the social history of her times. The musicians featured in live performance include her sisters, The Borden Twins, Cris Williamson, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Linda Tillery.

The documentary tells the story of a woman whose love of drumming and music gave her courage and connection with a widening circle of communities throughout the world. We watch the unfolding of Borden’s identity as she grows from a girl in love with drumming to a highly acclaimed percussionist. Archival and original footage shows: her career in performance; her leadership in drumming circles and peace and reconciliation projects; her teaching methods to bring drumming into all areas of life; and her exploration into the deeper cultural and ceremonial dimensions of drumming.