Although the Hispanic New York Film Festival kicked off yesterday at Columbia University with the Hector Lavoe biopic El Cantante, one of the true highlights of the festival will come this Friday when From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale is shown this Friday. Originally airing as a PBS documentary last year, From Mambo to Hip Hop explores the history of a borough through two of its most well-known musical exports: mambo and salsa. Mambo (which ultimately led to the development of salsa) and hip hop developed from the African-influenced rhythms by way of Puerto Rico and Cuba whose immigrants began to inhabit the five boroughs in the 1940's and 1950's. Although this documentary could have recognized the Jamaican influences in early hip hop, i.e. the influence of the "soundsystem" on hip hop early beginnings, From Mambo to Hip Hop is a great look at how, despite the gritty landscape that has characterized the South Bronx until only very recently, the rhythm provided the foundation that kept the music going strong.