By Rod Anders – SGN A&E Writer
Last month's shooting at the
Documenting Music of Remembrance's first 10 years, UNSILENCED touches upon both the personal and the universal, beginning with the emotional and professional journey of Artistic Director Mina Miller, a concert pianist new to
Front and center in this film is the music itself: works by those whose journeys ultimately led them to the gas chambers - music miraculously preserved and given new life by dedicated musicians and enthusiastic audiences. Interspersed with contemporary concert footage are Nazi propaganda films of concerts filmed in the Terezín concentration camp. These films show camp inmates in musical performance - and were used to whitewash the atrocities, falsely intimating that they were treated well in the camps. Participants in the films were murdered soon after its completion. In the children's opera Brundibár (which Music of Remembrance has revived), boys and girls sang about the triumph of good over evil - and were subsequently sent to their deaths.
In the spirit of preserving the memory of those lost, the organization continues to commission new musical works. Mina Miller's efforts to memorialize Gays who perished in the Holocaust led her to commission For a Look or a Touch, a theatrical song cycle based on a true story of two young Gay lovers torn apart. Also seen is soprano Jane Eaglen performing Letter to
UNSILENCED strikes a delicate balance: confronting the horrors of man's inhumanity without being morbid - and celebrating the human spirit without whitewashing unfathomable cruelty. Most of all, it shows how music keeps the spirit alive of those who have long been taken from us. For information on showings of UNSILENCED and its upcoming DVD release, contact musicofremembrance.org.