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Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony

Staff Pick Type: 
Kerry Candaele
Documentary (English)
April 9, 2013 (Santa Cruz)

An inspiring, thought-provoking film about the transformative potential of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Using talking-head shots the filmmaker focuses on four individuals, from Chile, China, East Germany and Japan and intersperses these interviews with photos and, at times shocking, footage, while the Ninth plays elegantly in the background. The individuals articulate the symphony’s impact on their lives, and the role it has played in broader social change. For example, a Chinese student leader during the June Fourth protests in 1989 describes how students played the symphony over loudspeakers in Tiananmen Square and the hope and determination it inspired. The viewer is left with an insight into how music, resilience, and solidarity can bring about social change.

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