Sedona News – The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present a two-day special event featuring two Beethoven documentaries by award-winning filmmaker Kerry Candaele on Sunday and Monday, June 25 and 26 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
The event will feature the first two films in a new Beethoven trilogy. “Following the Ninth” will show on Sunday, June 25 at 4 p.m., and “Love & Justice” will show on Monday, June 26 at 4 p.m. Director Kerry Candaele will be in Sedona to present both films and host live Q&A discussions after both screenings.
Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony
Sunday, June 25 at 4 p.m.
Written in 1824, near the end of Beethoven’s life, the Ninth Symphony is celebrated to this day for its ability to heal, repair, and bring people together across great divides. The Ninth has become an anthem of liberation and hope that has inspired many around the world. “Following The Ninth” focuses on the global impact of Beethoven’s Final Symphony.
At Tiananmen 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. As the Berlin Wall came down in December 1989, it collapsed to the sound of Leonard Bernstein conducting Beethoven’s Ninth as an “Ode To Freedom.” In Japan each December, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times, often with 10,000 people in the chorus. “Following the Ninth” gives us insight into the heightened importance of this massive communal Ninth, known as “Daiku,” in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
“Following The Ninth” travels across the globe with deeply personal and moving stories of individuals who were at the center of these events.
Love & Justice: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Rebel Opera
Monday, June 26 at 4 p.m.
On September 11, 1973, a military coup Chile deposed the democratically elected president Salvador Allende, installed General Augusto Pinochet, and unleashed years of vicious repression. Among those rounded up, imprisoned, and executed was Jorge Peña Hen, a composer and the conductor of a renowned children’s orchestra.
Forty-five years later, documentary filmmaker Kerry Candaele traveled to Valparaiso, Chile, to make a film about Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio. The opera is about a political prisoner, Florestan, unjustly held in a dungeon but ultimately rescued by his wife, Leonore, who has infiltrated the prison by dressing as a man.
In Valparaiso, Candaele assembles an orchestra and performers to stage portions of the opera, but he also meets an eccentric Butoh dancer named María Belén Espinosa Peña. In performance, she dresses as a man — an imprisoned musician — and plays out his final days “to rescue him from the prison of forgetting”. The man is her grandfather, Jorge Peña Hen.
Struck by the similarities between Belén’s story and the story of Fidelio, filmmaker Candaele has created a swirling, poetic, and deeply musical narrative that weaves them together, along with Beethoven’s own search for love and justice.
The film is being released on the 50th anniversary of the Chilean coup and is dedicated to its victims.
About the Filmmaker
Kerry Candaele is the director and producer of several documentaries including “A League of Their Own” and “Iraq For Sale”. He is the author of three books, and has recorded three albums of his own music. He has written for USA Today, Life, The Nation, Huffington Post, History Today, Seven, Irish America and Symphony Magazine. He lives in Venice, California
Tickets for each film are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.