D: Pierre-Henry Salfati
P: SUR Films / 13Production / WDR / NFB Canada / ARTE / France 5 / Sveriges Television
supported by the MEDIA program of the European Union
2004 · L: 79 min
Worldpremiere: Beethoven Haus Bonn & Louvre Paris
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has become one of the most celebrated musical works. The Ninth explores how its universal message of joy and brotherhood has been reclaimed by so many contradictory movements and ideas. This revealing film focuses on "Ode to Joy", the final movement of the symphony. This hymn, first performed in 1824, has been adopted as a symbol by romantic poets, anarchists, communists and Nazis. Today it is the anthem of the European Union. How has one musical work inspired so many, from humanists to tyrants?
Pierre-Henry Salfati (director, EMMY Award): "If we were to lose the dream of the Ninth, nothing would be left to us to balance the crushing terrors of modern civilisation, nothing left against Auschwitz, against the Vietnam War, against the Berlin Wall, against the war in ex-Yugoslavia, against the massacres to come."