Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony (2013)

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Movie Info

At Tiananmen Square in 1989, students played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony over loudspeakers as the army came in to crush them. In Chile, women living under Pinochet's dictatorship sang the Ninth at torture prisons, as men inside took hope when they heard their voices. When the Berlin Wall, symbol of division and oppression, came down in December 1989, Leonard Bernstein performed Beethoven's Ninth as an "Ode To Freedom". And In Japan, each December, the Symphony is performed hundreds of times, … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary
Directed By:
Written By: Kerry Candaele
In Theaters:
Runtime:
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Critic Reviews for Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (5)

The film is badly overconceived, especially when Candaele divides her subjects' stories into five chapters based on the symphony's respective movements, but the personal reminiscences are stirring and occasionally heartbreaking.

Full Review… | December 23, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Writer-director Kerry Candaele incisively documents the ideological legacy of opus 125 in Chile, China and Germany.

Full Review… | December 20, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Despite the good intentions, structurally it's all over the place with an excess of montages, archival footage, interviews and information practically drowning out any chance to appreciate the richness of the German composer's beloved achievement.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

All the film's segments are smartly assembled and gracefully paced. Oh, and the score's pretty good, too.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Each anecdote builds upon the next to create that rarest of films: a documentary as ineffable and transformative in its reach as it sets out to be.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

A perceptive look at how the "Ode to Joy" served as an anthem for liberation struggles, something Beethoven clearly intended as a partisan of the French Revolution.

Full Review… | November 2, 2013
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