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"Inspiring...a vision of sweeping cultural breadth. The film is sure to spark further exploration: Many viewers will be more than eager to follow these folk heroes off the beaten path."
- Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

"Enjoyable and enticing! Govenar's knowledge and affection are contagious...he makes his case for the NEA by asking the simple question: What do we value? In his expansive view of American culture, that includes preserving native languages, recognizing the profundity of the blues, and honoring where we came from and what we’ve made in equal measure."
- Serena Donadoni, The Village Voice

"A straightforward documentary about simple people continuing complex traditions. From the evolution of bluegrass to Peking opera in New York City, director Alan Govenar relishes in these art forms and their histories."
- Zackary Strunin, Film-Forward

"A celebration of art, survival, and the riches of human experience. This exuberant film makes each art sampled, from oud playing to basket weaving to bobbin lace making, feel indispensable."
- Regina Weinreich, Huffington Post

"As part of a decades-spanning project, the filmmaker and arts advocate Alan Govenar profiles winners of the National Heritage Fellowship."
- The New York Times

"'Extraordinary Ordinary People' includes footage of some of the most significant artists of the past century, from bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe to bluesman B.B. King. With budgets for the arts in peril, it couldn't come at a more opportune time."
- Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International

"A must-see documentary! There were so many great artists/craftsmen featured in this film...I found myself mesmerized by their stories. I was so touched by this film that I found myself in tears by the end and wanting to hear more."
- Tara Low, Guitar Girl Magazine