Beethoven's Hair

    • Larry Weinstein
    • Canada, Czech Republic, Austria
    • 2005
    • 84 min
    • Reflecting Images
    The archetype of Ludwig van Beethoven as a romantic artist is not only based on his great music, but also on the equally famous portraits of the composer, displaying a stern face and savage hair. One lock of that hair was allegedly cut off on his deathbed in March, 1827 and carefully preserved. Some years ago, the lock was auctioned off by Sotheby's in Copenhagen to two American Beethoven admirers. Beethoven's Hair, adapted from Russell Martin's book, reconstructs the route the lock followed over the course of time. Involved parties who are still alive are interviewed, and to illustrate matters, some scenes are enacted and fragments from old feature films about Beethoven are used, accompanied by music composed by the owner of the lock. The film describes the current significance of Beethoven and makes a journey through history via Vienna, Cologne, Denmark and the United States: 19th century Romanticism, the atrocities of Nazism and the technological ingenuity of today. In the thrilling grand finale, a scientific analysis of the relic clarifies the physical and mental torments Beethoven had to bear all his life. What caused his deafness, but possibly also formed his art?

    Credits

    • 84 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    • Spoken languages: English, German, Danish
    Director
    Larry Weinstein
    Production
    Larry Weinstein for Rhombus Media Inc., Jody Shapiro, Jessica Daniel
    Co-production
    DOR Film
    Cinematography
    Horst Zeidler
    Editing
    David New

    IDFA history

    2005
    Screened
    Reflecting Images

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    IDFA history

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