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Closed Captions Icon  Showing with captioning. The intro and Q&A on April 28 will include ASL interpretation.

Can a work of art remain relevant 200 years after its creation? Ludwig van Beethoven’s last completed symphony proves it’s possible. The opus remains one of the most recognizable pieces of classical music still performed worldwide; significantly, Leonard Bernstein conducted it to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall in one of his last public concerts. Perhaps the most poignant and meaningful recent performance of the work was by the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra in a powerfully defiant response to the Russian invasion. Why is this work, with its “Ode to Joy,” still such an evocative and exuberant expression of hope and resilience, love and freedom? Psychologist Steven Pinker traces the links between Beethoven’s masterpiece and the Enlightenment, while Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comics show how it infiltrated popular culture. Spanning a range of subjects, each with their own special connection to this work written as a love letter to all humankind, director Larry Weinstein finds himself drawn in, as recent personal and world events collide, shining a light on how impossible it is to separate art from life.


  • Director(s)

    • Larry Weinstein
  • Producer(s)

    • Jason Charters
    • Bernhard von Hülsen
    • Liam Romalis
    • Maria Willer
  • Writer(s)

    • Larry Weinstein
  • Editor(s)

    • David New
  • Cinematography

    • John Tran
    • Filip Drozdz
  • Sound

    • Sanjay Mehta
    • Vilius Keras

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