At Tiananmen Square in 1989, students played Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony over loudspeakers 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. In Japan each December, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times, often with 10,000 people in the chorus. The Berlin Wall—a symbol of division and oppression—was torn down in 1989 as Leonard Bernstein led Beethoven’s Ninth as an “Ode to Freedom.” Part road trip, part adventure story, Following the Ninth is an inspirational film about Beethoven’s final symphony and its ability to provide hope in dark times.
Available through May 31, 2021.