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The Winners

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Drama, Documentary
Release Date:January 20, 1999
Running time:85 minutes
Director:Paul Cohen
Distributor:First Run Features

Description: What becomes of the world-class violinists and pianists who win Brussels' Queen Elizabeth Competition - the musicians' Olympics? Four winners spanning the period 1955-1976 tell their stories. Most intriguing is Philipp Hirschhorn, once touted as the new Paganini. Now a broken man, he is seen watching scenes of himself some 20 years earlier, resplendent in white tie and tails, playing the violin brilliantly. His eyes come alive, but only for a moment. The film suggests that the reality of musical celebrity is darker and infinitely more complex than one might imagine. Questions of personality, musical technique, political intrigue, anti-Semitism (concerning the Russian Jews), bad timing, and bad luck are brought to bear in this fascinating exploration of what it takes to go from being a winner to becoming a star.

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