I had the pleasure of seeing this documentary recently and can’t recommend it highly enough. Do yourself a favour and go and see it. This is about music transcending culture, race, creed and politics. As one of the ensemble said, ‘There’s no east or west, it’s just a globe.’ Yo-Yo Ma is to be commended for his selfless act in bringing this ensemble together. They come from all over the world and are not affiliated with any organisation or official orchestra nor do they follow any pre-ordained style. Naturally, the ensemble is continually changing.
Although the documentary is about how the ensemble came to be and the trials and tribulations each member has had to go through to be a part of it, nevertheless, it is the music that transcends it all. It is the music that is the motivator for all of them, for them to put up with the political nonsense and other privations that surround them and to keep playing and inspiring others. They play for the sheer joy of music – for themselves and the audience. And that music doesn’t stop, except for a couple of minutes here and there while they interview someone. And then you launch into another performance somewhere – each one completely different. It is absolutely mesmerising. And, of course, the cello is at the heart of it all.
Being movement oriented, the highlight for me was seeing Yo-Yo Ma playing The Swan by Saint-Saëns while Lil’ Buck interprets the movement. I have never seen anything like it. I don’t suggest you try to get the children in your midst to perform anything like this, but it is extraordinary to see the level you can reach when you can truly feel the music and you move accordingly, in this case like a swan. Check out the link below in the Entertainment section and you’ll get a tiny glimpse of what the whole film was like.
I have watched plenty of films in my time, especially documentaries, and attended lots of orchestral concerts but after seeing this film, I felt like I’d been under a rock all my life. I guess that’s the whole point of the movie.