Directed by: Christopher Nupen
Starring: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Alice Sommer Herz
In this remarkable 2004 film, musical documentarian Christopher Nupen examines the Nazis who put together Jewish orchestras in concentration camps, offering probably the best examination of the irreconcilable dichotomy between art and the human beings who appreciate it. The film also serves as a terrific introduction to the impact of Richard Wagner—very specifically his pamphlet “Judaism in Music”—on anti-Semitism in Germany and on the Nazis. It would take reading numerous books on 19th- and early 20th-century music history to extract the information and understanding evidenced in this one film.
I originally reviewed this film for a special screening at the Fine Arts Theatre for which Christopher Nupen was in attendance. This resulted in the unique experience of finding myself invited by the director to come to the screening because he wanted to meet me—and give me a copy of the much longer full version of the film. According to Nupen, my review represented the best understanding of the film he had ever encountered, which I considered and consider high praise indeed. With that in mind, I direct your attention to that original review: http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/wewantthelight.php.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show We Want the Light at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.