Wagner and Me
This movie is from our archive and is not currently screening.
Wagner is a composer whose work is often laughed about as being the most dour and difficult. It is widely agreed that while he has great moments, he has dreadful quarter hours. He was also an awful man, anti-semetic, anti-homosexual, and pretty much anti-everything.
So what is Stephen Fry, a homosexual Jew, doing narrating a film about Wagner?
This very personal film follows Fry as he comes to terms with the cloud that surrounds Wagner, examining the man’s anti-semitism, and the way the Nazis abused his music for their own aims. Fry travels through Europe, making a pilgrimage to places Wagner once lived and worked, or made famous by his presence.
The conflict between Fry's love of the music, and his abhorrence of the composer is clear, especially when he visits Nuremberg and must face the fact that what attracts him to Wagner's music is the same thing that must have attracted Hitler. How does a Jewish man reconcile that?
The film is enjoyable and awe inspiring, using many of Wagner's most famous works to illustrate points. It is also intensely personal, giving as much insight into Fry as it does into the composer. Handsomely produced, it is an unforgettable documentary.
G, 89 mins
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