The Underground Orchestra
About IDFA
The Underground Orchestra
IDFA 2014

The Underground Orchestra

Het ondergronds orkest
Heddy Honigmann
Netherlands, France
108 min
Festival history
A Venezuelan harp player, a violinist from Sarajevo, an Argentine piano player, a Malian singer and a Romanian zither player are the miscellaneous leading characters in this documentary by Heddy Honigmann. Although the film is called and initially seems to deal with people who eke out a living by playing music in the passages of the Parisian metro, the scene of the action gradually shifts to life aboveground. On the one hand, because shooting a film in the Parisian metro has been forbidden since a series of bomb attacks took place here. On the other hand, an “underground” world also seems to exist aboveground: many of the musicians portrayed have left their native countries for political reasons and are currently living in France as illegal aliens. Their dwellings are tiny under the roofs of Parisian houses, or overpriced but shabby hotel rooms. Little by little, their musical activities are streamlined, and they can be found in recording studios and concert halls. They have also joined forces in a real underground orchestra, which plays underneath the arcades near the Place des Vosges.
Screening copy
    Eye Film Institute Netherlands
    Eye Film Institute Netherlands
Involved TV Channel