|Wagner & Me
A film by Patrick McGrady
88 minutes, documentary, color, English, 2010
Actor and writer Stephen Fry explores his passion for the world’s most controversial composer, but can he salvage Richard Wagner’s music from its dark associations with anti-Semitism and Hitler?
Fry’s quest begins in southern Germany where he is granted unique access to Bayreuth’s legendary annual Wagner festival. In Switzerland he discovers the origins of Wagner’s masterpiece "The Ring." In Bavaria he marvels at the fairytale castle inspired by Wagner’s music, and in St Petersburg learns why Wagner fascinated Russian audiences.
But Fry also confronts the composer’s dark side. In Nuremberg he investigates how Hitler appropriated Wagner’s music, and in London meets a cellist who played in the prisoners' orchestra at Auschwitz – where some of Fry's relatives died. What will she
think of his passion for Hitler’s favorite artist?
Animated by Fry’s trademark wit and intelligence and featuring a soundtrack of Wagner's extraordinary music, Wagner & Me is a provocative yet enjoyable exploration of the life and legacy of one of history’s great geniuses.
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"Highly entertaining!" - The Hollywood Reporter
"" - Time Out Chicago
"An exuberant & deeply personal documentary. Fry is a charming and thoughtful guide."
"Any time spent with the erudite Fry is a pleasure...Wagner & Me flies by as if on wings."
"Gracefully alternates interviews and biographical passages with stirring lyrical musical sequences. Tracing the creation of masterpieces like 'Parsifal' and the 'Ring' cycle, Mr. Fry, who is Jewish, explores Wagner's virulent anti-Semitism and Hitler's co-optation of his music during the Third Reich." - The New York Times
See details about this film's theatrical run.