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OH TO BELIEVE IN ANOTHER WORLD

A film by William Kentridge for Shostakovich Symphony No. 10

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"How to make a film to accompany a live orchestral performance of a symphony? There are already 80 musicians in the orchestra. There is the shine of the brass. The excitement of watching the relationship between the conductor and the musicians. Behind this, to put a film.

The key task in making the film Oh To Believe in Another World to accompany the Shostakovich symphony no. 10, is to find something that does not turn the symphony into film music - a series of images and narratives that overwhelm the music itself; nor to have something that disappears, that runs simply as series of anodyne backdrops. But the story of Shostakovich and his complicated relationship to the state in the Soviet Union, from its early days just after the 1917 revolution, all the way through to Stalin’s death in 1953, provides the material for thinking visually about the trajectory that Shostakovich had to follow, from the early days of the Soviet Union to the writing of the symphony.

This is a retrospective look at the four decades of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, from the perspective of 1953 when both Stalin died and the first performance of the symphony was presented. In the 1920s there was the death of Lenin; in the 1930s the suicide of Mayakovsky; in the 1940s, the assassination of Trotsky; in the 1950s the death of Stalin – and here we are, almost 70 years later. The report that remains of these decades is in the music of Shostakovich, the one who against expectation got away, and survived.” William Kentridge

Commissioned and performed by the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester
in association with the Teatro di Napoli
Conducted by Michael Sanderling

Director
William Kentridge

Editors
Janus Fouché, Žana Marović, Joshua Trappler

Costume & Puppet Designer
Greta Goiris

Set and Model Designer
Sabine Theunissen

Cinematographer
Duško Marović

Video Control
Kim Gunning