A free screening for your thoughts?
The Church of the Advent hosts a free film screening of Erbarme Dich, a documentary film about J.S. Bach’s classic St. Matthew Passion, the music and its profound impact.
Royal Roads University professor Richard Kool said the film allows for deep reflection on one of the most powerful works of music, and perhaps one of the great accomplishments of European culture.
“For some, just coming to hear a beautiful performance of some of the most touching and exquisite sections of this masterwork would be enough reason to attend the showing,” Kool said.
“But the filmmaker has gone beyond just the music, inviting a diverse range of people whose lives have been touched in some way by the work, to speak about the impact great art can have on one’s life.”
Conductor Pieter Jan Leusink’s Bach Choir and Orchestra, along with members of the Amsterdam homeless choir, De Straatklinkers, perform the music in the film presented in Dutch with english subtitles.
“The inclusion of the street choir that also is included is so resonant, because the main character in the musical rendition by Bach, Jesus Christ, spoke to and about the lives of the poor,” Kool continued.
“But this music also has its dark side, as the anti-Jewish sentiments found so clearly in the Passion story has been used to incite violence against Jews over (a) century, and we have to find ways to confront the sublime beauty of the music with its sometimes-uncomfortable text.”
The screening is followed by what organizers hope will be a lively audience discussion featuring church rector Ken Gray, Kool and other RRU professors including Michael Young and Erich Schelhammer.
The free screening is Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Advent at 510 Mount View Ave. in Colwood.