As part of peace negotiations between diplomats from Israel and Palestine, a concert of a youth orchestra of young Palestinians and Israelis is taking place in South Tyrol under massive security measures. The young people do not want to give up on the peace efforts that have already worked in their microcosm and are gradually finding a first way to bridge hatred, intolerance, and terror by working together and making music together. Does music have the strength to build bridges between young people of different religions and hated nationalities, despite the many challenges and obstacles?
"Dror Zahavi really impressed me in 2008 with his movie" Everything for my dad ", because he gave the terror a human face," said producer Dr. Alice Brauner. "I am very happy to be able to win him as a director for CRESCENDO (AT), because he is aware of the relevance of the topic and has the necessary sensitivity to stage the extremely up-to-date material for the big screen. Peter Simonischek is not only the ideal cast for the main role of the conductor, but also directs the necessary attention to the film and the topic far beyond the German-speaking area. "
CRESCENDO (AT) is a production of CCC Filmkunst. Producer is Dr. Alice Brauner, in co-production with the Münchener MZ-Film (Michael Zechbauer), FIlmvergnuegen from South Tyrol (Peter Trenkwalder, Monika Reinthaler), the AVE-Verlag (Walid Nakschbandi) and the Niama-Film (Thomas Reisser, Marcus Machura) and of ServusTV.
The distribution of the German-Italian-Austrian co-production was taken over by Camino Filmverleih, the global distributor of Global Screen. The project is funded by HessenFilm and Medien, IDM Südtirol and the DFFF.
In the motion picture CRESCENDO #makemusicnotwar Dror Zahavi tells a story in an inspiring way about teenage musicians from Palestine and Israel, who want to set an example for peaceful coexistence in a group concert. Eduard Sporck is a famous conductor, who teaches at a university in Frankfurt. Now he's tasked with preparing a concert, which is contested by the teenagers from Palestine as well as Israel.
The concert should accompany peace negotiations between the two countries and set an example against the hatred, that has prevailed for too long. Eduard is in doubt. Not only, because he knows, that it's not gonna be easy to bring together both sides, but also because he carries a difficult story inside him. And yet he knows that it is the music, that stands against all borders. CRESCENDO by Dror Zahavi is a movie about the power of music, which can connect people with each other. The burden of history that lays on the teenagers from Palestine, as well as Israel, is portrayed by the movie in multiple group discussions. During this, all sides, all opinions are heard but the question of whether a concert can even solve problems of such significance is asked too. Through many small single stories and a convincing ensemble, a great number of facets of the confrontation and the exchange are shown. Eduard Sporck, who is played by Peter Simonischek, can guide the young people on their way to a peaceful future, having a tragic story of his own. The beautiful music makes the listeners feel like they're a part of the group who fight, argue, laugh and make music together. And so the movie sets a brave and important sign above its own topic:
Borders exist to be overcome. Through listening, speaking and confronting each other - and of course, the power of music.
A new perspective in the peace process inn the middle east conflict between Israel and Palestine is the topic of this movie. There have always been tries to approach conflict with cultural projects such as music, theatre, dance, and movies. The motion picture CRESCENDO by Dror Zahavi tells a story about teenage musicians from Palestine and Israel, who are supposed to set an example for living together peacefully. The project is encouraged by a questionable German foundation, which hires an internationally established conductor for this task.
This is not without piquancy, as Eduard Sporck - played by the brilliant Peter Simonischek - carries a story of his own, which has already burdened him throughout his life. Now the conductor is to prepare a concert to accompany the current peace negotiations between the two countries. The concert is meant to draw attention to the hatred that has prevailed for so long. The movie clearly shows, how difficult this is. The selection of musicians in Tel Aviv is already characterized by mistrust and mutual resentment. Quickly conflicts break out. Above all, many of the young people see the opportunity to work with the famous conductor who may help them to an international career. Because of the open disputes, the practice is being transferred to South Tyrol, a region with which Sporck is historically closely connected. The conductor not only takes over the musical- but also the psychological guidance, in which he tries to reduce the mutual hatred and to convey mutual respect to the youth. Through many details, individual stories and a convincingly playing ensemble of young talents, many facets of the argument and the deep-rooted rejection become clear. Even a love story of an Israeli and a Palestinian can't be missing, which at least temporarily represents a piece of lived utopia. The power of the music works, but there will certainly be no happy ending. The absence of such transfiguration is certainly one of CRESCENDOs particular strengths.
In the committee, there were also critical voices in the detailed discussion of the film. Some members saw the production as a kind of educational movie, shortening the complex situation in the middle east and working in places with black and white clichés. Individual jury members also missed the continuous development of the characters.
The majority, however, saw the courageous film with great respect. In her opinion, the movie is particularly appealing to an audience that doesn't know all the details of the conflict. The film represents a humanist perspective that believes that settlement is possible by learning to perceive each other as a human by working together on music. This is a message that is universal and can be applied to other conflicts, such as dealing with refugees. The conflict is so diverse that you have to reduce it and not handle all the details. This is very well done with a clear and coherent script that works very well but has many important details and strong identifiers.
The Commission was very impressed by the excellent cast of the roles, especially of the youthful Israelis and Palestinians. Especially the two "leaders", but also the young lovers play their roles very convincingly, even if the story sometimes seems a bit bold. CRESCENDO has succeeded admirably in rendering the most complex Israeli-Palestinian history credible. Particularly strong are sequences that tell everyday life in the occupied Palestinian territories, including demonstrations and the use of tear gas, or the bullying when entering Israel. Especially these sequences get under the skin and are very insistent. The music is very well used and amplifies the emotions in the audience. The film advocates listening and making its own decision, and is thus completely in the tradition of CCC Filmkunst from Berlin, which has produced it in a leading position. An important movie that is highly topical. Because the outcome of the elections in Israel has shown how divided the country is still.
Genre: Drama; Motion picture
Director: Dror Zahavi
Actors: Peter Simonischek; Daniel Donskoy; Bibiana Beglau; Sabrina Amali; Götz Otto
Script: Dror Zahavi; Johannes Rotter; According to an idea from Alice Brauner and Stephen Glantz
Book template: Stephen Glantz
Camera: Gero Steffen
Editing: Fritz Busse
Music: Martin Stock
Length: 112 minutes
Cinema start: 16.01.2020
Global sales: Global Screen
Rental: Camino Filmverleih
Production: CCC-Filmkunst GmbH, AVE Publishing GmbH & Co. KG; Filmvergnuegen; MZ-Film; Niama-Film GmbH; Red Bull Media House;
Promoter: DFFF; HessenFilm und Medien; IDM Southtyrol - Alto Adige NOI Techpark - MIBAC Ministero per i beni e le attivitá culturali