The film, Following The Ninth: In The Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony will be presented at the Phoenix Art Museum on Sunday, September 16th at noon. The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra is performing the 9th three times that weekend, so the film will be a nice compliment to the opening of their new season.
Filmed on 5 continents and in 12 countries, Following The Ninth is the story of four people whose lives have been transformed and repaired by Beethoven's message in his Ninth Symphony: Alle Menschen werden Bruder (All Men Will Be Brothers).
At Tienanmen Square in 1989, students played the Ninth over loudspeakers as the army came in to crush their struggle for freedom. In Chile, women living under the Pinochet dictatorship sang the Ninth at torture prisons, where men inside took hope when they heard their voices. In Japan each December, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times, often with 10,000 people in the chorus. And now, with a concert for the victims of the earthquake and Tsunami. The Berlin Wall, symbol of division and oppression, comes down in December, 1989, as Leonard Bernstein performs Beethoven's Ninth as an "Ode To Freedom".
Part road trip, part adventure story, Following The Ninth is an inspirational film about Beethoven's Ninth, the power it has to liberate us, to shield us against suffering, and to provide hope and resilience for us in dark times.
The film attracted a lot of attention when it was released (see below), but it has never screened in Phoenix.