The Silence Before Bach
Filmfest 2008

"A new film in the unique oeuvre of the Barcelonan outsider Portabella is about Bach. With lots of his music, but it's the opposite of an ordinary biopic. The title refers to the well-known poem by the Swedish poet Lars Gustafsson, "The silence of the world before Bach". In it, the significance of Bach for the world and the position of his music in the history of European civilisation is made clear by the simple, poetic thought that there was once a world without Bach's music. How Bach transformed the world by his music, that's what the film is about. We see fragments in which works of music by Bach and two sonatas by Mendelssohn are performed on authentic instruments, but also on contemporary instruments such as a mouth organ. The setting of the stories is very different - in both time and place: from the 18th-century Thomaskirche in Leipzig where Bach teaches his children, to the 21st-century sets such as the hallucinating scene in which a camera pans backwards through a noisy riding metro train full of cellists." Rotterdam Film Festival

tags: Feature film

Cast: Christian Brembeck, Féodor Atkine, Àlex Brendemühl, Daniel Ligorio, George-Christoph Biller


Director: Pere Portabella