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

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Filmed on 5 continents and in 12 countries, the stirring new documentary Following the Ninth follows the dramatic and inspirational stories of four people whose lives have been transformed by Beethoven’s message in his celebrated Ninth Symphony. 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. Each December in Japan, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times, often with 10,000 people in the chorus, and recently, the Ninth was showcased in a very special 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 unique power it has to liberate us, to shield us against suffering, and to provide hope and resilience for us in dark times. (Dir. by Kerry Candaele, 2013, USA / Germany / UK / Austria / Chile / China / Japan / South Africa, in English and with subtitles, 78 mins., Not Rated, Area 23a) Digital