Bonnections is hosting today (May 7th, 7.30 pm) a free community screening of the film “Following the Ninth” at  BonnLAB  (Zingsheimstr. 2, Bonn-Beuel) in celebration of Europe Day (May 9th) and our shared humanity. 

Following the Ninth Film Poster

Part road trip, part adventure story, ‘Following The Ninth‘ is an inspiring documentary film about the global impact of Beethoven’s final symphony as a “battle cry” for humanity, freedom and justice.  Directed by Kerry Candaele, the film explores Beethoven’s legacy and the power that music can bring to people and the first part of the “Beethoven Hero” triology.

Released in 2013, the film has screened in over 250 cities in the United States and around the globe. This will be the first public screening in Beethoven’s town of birth.

Following the screening, the Canadian director and producer who lives in Los Angeles, will be available to answer questions via live stream.

Celebrated to this day for its ability to heal, repair, and bring people together across great divides, the Ninth has become an anthem of liberation and hope that has inspired many around the world.

Kerry in Chile (Photo courtesy of Kerry Candaele)

At Tiananmen Square in 1989, students played the Ninth as the army came in to crush their struggle for freedom. In Chile, women living under the Pinochet dictatorship sang the Ninth at torture prisons, where men inside took hope when they heard their voices.  As the Berlin Wall came down, it collapsed to the sound of Beethoven’s Ninth as an “Ode To Freedom.”

The “Ode to the Joy” is the anthem of the European Union which is celebrating this year its 60th birthday. People in many cities across Europe are singing the Ode these days in pro-EU Pulse of Europe demonstrations to raise their voice for an united and peaceful Europe and the protection of democracy and human rights.

Since March hundreds of people in Bonn have also been joining together every Sunday in front of the Old City Hall to support pro-European forces and to stand up against nationalists and right-wing populists, who are threatening intrinsic European values. These rallies, held in over 120 cities across Europe, are set to continue until the national elections in Germany on September 24.  Starting in June, they will no longer be weekly, but monthly events, always the first Sunday of the month.

Before the film screening, we will share with you some footage shot by another documentary filmmaker, Ádám Csillag, last month in Budapest at a mass protest against Hungary’s right-wing Viktor Orban regime.  The video shows thousands of people singing Beethoven’s Ode to the Joy together in Hungarian at the closure of the rally (starting at 1.05.15).

Kerry and Ádám are both not only award-winning documentary filmmakers, but also fierce defenders of human rights and freedom of speech.


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