|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||The Song of Names|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 113 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years old|
During World War II, the Polish Jewish Dovidl Rapaport, a true prodigy on the violin, was recorded by the family of Martin Simmons. The two boys almost became something like brothers until Dovidl disappeared without a trace in 1951 moments before his debut concert in London. Since then Martin (Tim Roth) has been obsessed with finding his "brother" again. He simply has to know what happened to the boy and why he let Martin's father, who had paved the way for a great career for him, down so badly. But only 35 years after his disappearance there is a hot lead that confirms Martin's conviction that Dovidl (Clive Owen) is still alive. And so he embarks on a journey in the footsteps of a man who was once so close to him, but whom he seems never to have really known.
"The Song of Names" tells the moving story of a search for the truth and about the special power of music on different time levels. Director François Girard has already used music as a central part of his stories with films such as "The Red Violin", "The Choir - Voices of the Heart" or "32 Variations on Glenn Gould". This is again the case here, with Girard this time securing the help of Academy Award winner Howard Shore. Shore has spent two years studying the cantoral tradition to compose the titled "Song of Names". He is also assisted by the renowned conductor/teacher Judith Clurman and Bruce Ruben, cantor of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, in reconstructing the Jewish liturgical tradition.
Martin must realize throughout history that, as close as he was to Dovidl for many years, he could never really understand him until he understood the history of his family and all the Jews who died during the Holocaust. Girard's main concern was to deal with the Holocaust in history without directly showing the horror. His film uses very calm tones, but can then unfold its full power in the important scenes - for example when Dovidl learns of the fate of his family.
Very well played - by the "old hands" as well as by their younger alter egos - and directed with a sensitive hand, "The Song of Names" is a very moving drama, but also has some light, very beautiful moments to offer. A film against forgetting, a film about the healing power of music and a film about friendship and forgiveness, which can be recommended to lovers of small but fine art house dramas. Worth seeing!
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