Please carefully read and understand our Store Policy and Shipping/Handling Fees before placing your order.  You can also download this order form (pdf) for mail order.  Any questions?  Please contact at or 212-529-1955 ext 15.

Khonsay: Poem of Many Tongues

Directed by Bob Holman; Produced by Steve Zeitlin; Edited by Lee Eaton; Original Music by Saul Simon MacWilliams

There are 6,500 languages spoken in the world. By the end of this century more than half will disappear.

Khonsay: Poem of Many Tongues is a tribute and call to action for linguistic diversity. A 15-minute motion poem (poem on film), each line comes from a different treasure or minority language. 48 speakers each speak in their mother tongues, as line by line, language by language, the poem is created.

In the Boro tongue of North India, itself a treasure language, Khonsay means to pick up something with great care, as it is rare or scarce.

Khonsay premiered in New York City at the 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival and was featured in the biannual Sadho Poetry Film Festival in New Delhi, India, where it won the Viewer’s Choice Award.


***We are sorry but this title is currently unavailable***
Let’s Get the Rhythm: The Life and Times of Miss Mary Mack

Margaret Mead Film Festival
Dance on Camera Festival

Directed by Irene Chagall and co-produced by Steve ZeitlinThis film looks at the world wide tradition hand clapping games through the eyes of young girls from the greater New York area as they grow through those childhood years when it is central to their social network. Girlhood wit and charm is complemented by more mature reflections of adults who revisit in their childhood memories. Although this rhythmic play is deeply ingrained, traced back to Ancient Egypt and further, its worldly wisdom preserved by generations of girls, stands threatened as technology increasingly impacts our life style globally. Let’s Get the Rhythm is compelling testimony to the value of music in our lives. 

54 minutes, DVD

From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale

Winner of NCLR’s 2007 Alma Award for the Best Documentary

Produced by Elena Martínez and Steve Zeitlin, directed by Henry Chalfant

This hour-long documentary tells a story about the creative life of the South Bronx, beginning with the Puerto Rican migration and the adoption of Cuban rhythms to create the New York Latin music sound; continuing with the fires that destroyed the neighborhood but not the creative spirit of its people; chronicling the rise of hip hop from the ashes and ending with reflections on the power of the neighborhood’s music to ensure the survival of several generations of its residents, and in the process, take the world’s pop culture by storm.  Depicting two different styles of music that were nurtured in the neighborhood (mambo) and born there (hip hop), the film shows how members of this Bronx community, especially Puerto Ricans, influenced and were inspired by them.  The film features the voices of community members who dance to this music, as well as the musicians who grew up in these Bronx neighborhoods and went onto achieve international fame including: Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Orlando Marín, Willie Colón, Bobby Sanabria, DJ Charlie Chase and Grandmaster Caz.

56 minutes, DVD

Free Show Tonite

Grand Prize Winner, National Education Film Festival, 1984
City Lore Film

Directed by Paul Wagner and Steve Zeitlin

Take  a rollicking journey through America’s past on a medicine show house car, with a motley crew of actual medicine show veterans who perform the songs, pitches, and comedy sketches that bring an era of American history to life. In 1981, the Smithsonian Institution gathered together the last survivors of this tradition and put on one last medicine show with Doc Fred Foster Bloodgood selling the miracle tonic just as he had done on a medicine show in the 1920s and 30’s. The film is a thoughtful, joyful introduction on the roots of American entertainment.

Grades 7-College, 58 minutes, DVD or VHS


The Painted Bride

City Lore Film

Directed by Susan Slyomovics and Amanda Dargan

This film brings the viewer into a Pakistani living room in Queens, New York, where Shenaz Hooda uses henna dye to paint intricate patterns and designs on the hands and feet of a bride-to-be, while the bride’s friends sing humorous wedding songs mocking her future in-laws.  The film explores the exquisite mehendi body painting tradition as it is found in India and Pakistan and provides insight into new immigrant traditions.

Grades 6-College, 23 minutes, DVD or VHS


The People’s Poetry Gathering: Oral Poetry Traditions from Around the World (DVD or CD)

City Lore Film

Directed and produced by Nick Doob and Steve Zeitlin

This film and CD explore the great themes of the People’s Poetry Gathering: the relationship of oral, written, and musical forms of poetry. Both feature traditional forms such as the Puerto Rican concorso de trovadores (a poetry contest) and literary poets such as Galway Kinnell and Sekou Sandiata, as well as new forms and formats, such as a Heavyweight Poetry Bout between Sherman Alexie and Patricia Smith and a teen slam.

Grades 6 and up, DVD or CD
$20.00 (DVD) or $10.00 (CD)


Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival 1961-1965 (3 CD set)

Produced by City Lore in association with Peter Siegel, and released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

This 3 CD set accompanied by a 60 page booklet, was featured in The New York Times as one of the finest box sets in 2010. “A tiny, scholarly outfit called the Friends of Old Time Music,” writes Ben Ratliff in the Times, “put on a series of concerts in the early ’60s at high school and college auditoriums in Greenwich Village; a man named Peter Siegel recorded the shows with a fairly cheap microphone; and this, at last is the result, a boxed set of awesome and concentrated power, demonstrating exactly the lure of the particular American musical traditions that got deep into a generation of musicians like the young Bob Dylan… Here is the scarily intense Kentucky-mountain tenor Roscoe Holcomb, the blues-influenced white singer Dock Boggs, the elegant ensemble workings of the bluegrass bands led by Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers and the purring euphony of Mississippi John Hurt…it makes you understand what the fuss was all about.”

3 CD box set with a 60-page booklet

Bomba: Dancing the Drum **Currently Out of Stock**

Exclusive to City Lore Store

Produced by Roberta Singer and Ashley James

Bomba: Dancing the Drum chronicles the legendary Cepeda family, known as the “patriarch family” of bomba, Puerto Rico’s classic African-rooted music and dance. For nearly a century, the Cepedas have been in the forefront of the struggle to keep the bomba tradition alive in Puerto Rico. Don Rafael Cepeda, the 86 year-old patriarch of the family, learned the bomba from his grandfather and has passed it on to each of his 13 children, who in turn are passing it on to their children. Shot entirely in the streets and neighborhoods of Santuree, Puerto Rico. Bomba is a film saturated with the music and dance of Puerto Rico, but ultimately is a portrait of a remarkable family that has chosen to embrace the future with the strength of the past.

56 minutes, DVD

Please carefully read and understand our Store Policy and Shipping/Handling Fees before placing your order.  You can also download this order form (pdf) for mail order.  Any questions?  Please contact at or 212-529-1955 ext 15.