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El sistema

El sistema

D 2009 102'

Regie: Paul Smaczny, Maria Stodtmeier
Kamera: Eva Kinadler
Ton: Andreas Köppen, Toine Mertens
Schnitt: Steffen Herrmann
Produktion: EuroArts Music Production

“There is always a reason to set off fireworks,” one of the founders says joyously about the big bang high above Caracas. “El Sistema” began as a music school in 1975 and now encompasses an array of schools and orchestras that help a quarter of a mil- lion Venezuelan children attain a basic musi- cal education.In a soft voice José Antonio Abreu, the well- loved founder of this primarily state-financed system, convincingly describes the effect music can have – not just the intellectual mer- its of it, but its benefits to society as well: the orchestras are social institutions where chil- dren learn to interact. Most of the children here come from precarious circumstances and this bastion of creativity gives them the opportunity to make it off the streets. Directors Paul Smaczny and Maria Stodtmeier visit several music schools. The paper orches- tra is particularly adorable; in it, the youngest children practice playing together on paper instruments. Their enthusiasm for music is apparent. This is evidenced as they gleefully dance in their chairs while visiting a youth orchestra concert. These professional musicians often stay at the school to teach – a trumpet pupil who copies his teacher's spiky hairdo stands as a perfect example of just how great the instructors' role model function is. Interviews and observations – including of the children at home – are set to stimulating orchestral music and images of the city, which, along with the energy of the protagonists, contribute to the enthusiastic tone of EL SISTEMA.
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