I Am the Violin

    • Paul Cohen
    • Netherlands
    • 2004
    • 54 min
    • Highlights of the Lowlands
    Violinist Ida Haendel (1924) never attained the fame of her contemporaries Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin, but her violin playing is of the same quality. She was born in Poland, and from the moment she picked up her elder sister's violin as a three-year old and, she claims, could play right away, her life was dominated by this instrument. She was guided by her father throughout her career. She made his dream come true. Director Paul Cohen follows and interviews Haendel, who still performs worldwide. He mixes images of recent rehearsals and performances with archival footage and old photos. He films Haendel at home, where she lives alone with her dog, and he interviews her former violin teacher, who explains that Haendel's childhood was shaped around the violin. “I am much more childish now than I was then,” Haendel agrees. She also speaks about her private life, her unconditional love for her father, her unrequited love for conductor Sergiu Celibidache and about growing older. When her Stradivarius produces a bad tone, she tells the repairman she is afraid the audience will blame it on her old age. “I know people are waiting for flaws.”


    • 54 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    Paul Cohen
    Frank de Jonge for MOONDOCS, Piet Erkelens
    Paul Cohen
    Mario Steenbergen
    Martijn van Haalen

    IDFA history

    Highlights of the Lowlands

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