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

Loading the player ...

USA | 2013 | 90 Minutes | Kerry Candaele

April 11 - 13, 2014

This inspiring sonic travelogue travels across five continents to examine the legacy of Beethoven's final symphony, which continues to resonate as an anthem of hope from Tiananmen Square to Pinochet’s Chile.

Completely deaf and adrift from the people he loved, Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Ninth Symphony in 1824 as an act of transcendence. Today, his Ode to Joy continues to transform lives. At Tiananmen Square in 1989, students played the Ninth over loudspeakers as the army came in to crush their struggle for freedom. That same year, Leonard Bernstein performed Beethoven's Ninth as an "Ode To Freedom" during the toppling of the Berlin Wall. In Chile, demonstrators sang the Ode during the Pinochet dictatorship, providing solace to those imprisoned. And each December, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times in Japan, often with a chorus of 10,000 people, a tradition with offered special resonance after the devastation of the 2011 tsunami.

"Thrilling…smartly assembled and gracefully paced." – Daniel Gold, The New York Times

"Majestic! 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." – John Oursler, Village Voice

  • Director: Kerry Candaele
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 90 Minutes
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Format: DCP