ALICE SOMMER HERZ AT 106: EVERYTHING IS A PRESENT
January 29th, 2010
This new film which was broadcast for the first time on Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January 2010 is now available through our website
Direct link: http://www.Allegrofilms.com/Alice-Sommer-Herz
(Available at a lower price)
I introduced the film at the Midem Avant Premiere screenings in Cannes on 26 January with the following words.
Those of you who have seen our film We Want the Light will certainly not have forgotten Alice Sommer Herz. She was the heroine of that film and she was the cause of it winning so many prizes, including DVD of the Year Award here in Cannes in 2006.
She is a concentration camp survivor who played more than 100 concerts in the camp and saved both her own life and the lives of many others in the process.
She was 98 when we made that film and it made her famous in many parts of the world. As a direct result of it she was invited, WHEN SHE WAS 104 YEARS OLD, to publish a book about her experiences which has already become a best seller in seven different languages.
She is now 106 and still going strong, and so we have made a film to celebrate her extraordinary life and her even more extraordinary character.
She has endured things which no human being should have to endure and yet she talks about them with a quiet, simple grace that leaves a deep impression on everybody who discovers her. She also plays in the film, music by Schubert, Smetana and Beethoven and she plays it in the style of her teacher, Artur Schnabel, a style which remembers a more confident time in music making and which many will find heartening. When Pinchas Zukerman heard it, he said,
Wow! You don’t hear phrasing like that any more.
Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK and the BBC will show it at 8 o’ clock in the evening.
Several people have said that it is one of the very few films on a Holocaust subject which focuses on hope, tenacity and human dignity rather than on catastrophe and despair. It is an ideal film for occasions like tomorrow.
Gigi Sommer is an impressive, lovable and unforgettable human being. A lady worth remembering.
Thank you for your attention.
END OF QUOTATION
The broadcast on BBC television on 27 January made a deep impression. It drew a much bigger audience than expected and produced an avalanche of e-mails and telephone calls, including requests for repeat transmissions on the other BBC channels.