We Want the Light

Movie Information

The Hendersonville Film Society will show We Want the Light at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.
Genre: Documentary
Director: Christopher Nupen
Starring: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Alice Sommer Herz
Rated: NR

In this remarkable 2004 film, musical documentarian Christopher Nupen examines the Nazis who put together Jewish orchestras in concentration camps, offering probably the best examination of the irreconcilable dichotomy between art and the human beings who appreciate it. The film also serves as a terrific introduction to the impact of Richard Wagner—very specifically his pamphlet “Judaism in Music”—on anti-Semitism in Germany and on the Nazis. It would take reading numerous books on 19th- and early 20th-century music history to extract the information and understanding evidenced in this one film.

I originally reviewed this film for a special screening at the Fine Arts Theatre for which Christopher Nupen was in attendance. This resulted in the unique experience of finding myself invited by the director to come to the screening because he wanted to meet me—and give me a copy of the much longer full version of the film. According to Nupen, my review represented the best understanding of the film he had ever encountered, which I considered and consider high praise indeed. With that in mind, I direct your attention to that original review: http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/wewantthelight.php.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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