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  • Production: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Wavelength Films
  • Starring: Stephen Fry
  • Written By: Patrick McGrady
  • Distributed By: Wavelength Films
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Language: English

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Wagner & Me

Jewish | 2011 | 89 min.
Directed by: Patrick McGrady and Stephen Fry

Enter the world of history's most controversial composer. Actor Stephen Fry is a devoted fan of Richard Wagner's music - and so was Hitler. Fry is Jewish and acutely aware of the complexity of his enthusiasm for Richard Wagner. Can Fry disentangle the music he loves from its poisonous links with Hitler? Featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the Bayreuth Festival, the annual festival held in Wagner's honor and showcasing his music, and a full soundtrack of Wagner's famous music, this film explores the life and legacy of one of the world's most famous composers--and poses the question of if it's possible to separate the art from the artist. 

 

 

Critical Acclaim

"A dazzling emotional whirlwind of a documentary"

-Vancouver International Film Festival

"An intriguing odyssey"

- David Parkinson, Empire Online

"An affecting, personal film ... Seeing Fry struck with awe and ambivalence as he entered Bayreuth for the first time was mesmerising, and his childish sense of wonder as a maestro laid bare the score of Tristan and Isolde on the piano was a joy."

- John Crace, The Guardian

"The questions he posed about art and politics, propaganda, power, myth and belonging and the sheer potency of expensive music were real and profound and touched the heart of all civilisation"

- A.A.Gill, The Sunday Times

"Presenters often rave about high art as if it was a given that we should all like it, but Fry's encomia all had a confessional air to them. His admiration of Wagner was not a badge of intellectual superiority but a revealed compulsion; not a pompously dignified thing but a potentially undignified one. Because of that you believed him, and sensed the gloom when he visited the Nazi rally grounds in Nuremberg and grasped how hard it would be to disentangle the music from its most notoriously demented admirers."

- Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

"Even those allergic to the music will be riveted by Fry’s love for the art, ambivalence for the creator, and loathing of the Nazi associations."

-Martin Hoyle, Financial Times

*Winner: 2010 Audience Choice Grand Prize - Rhode Island International Film Festival

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