Go behind the scenes of the Paris Opera, where backstage dramas, crises, and triumphs play out each night before the curtain rises. In turns ironic, light-hearted and cruel, encompassing both music and ballet, The Paris Opera shines the spotlight on great artistic passions and tells the story of life backstage at this iconic and indispensable performing arts institution.
Calling to mind the films of Frederick Wiseman, this all-access documentary showcases the individuals — from management to performers, costumers to the cleaning crew—who work tirelessly to bring breathtaking spectacles to audiences night after night. Filmmaker Jean-Stephane Bron combines still photographs, footage of ballet performances of “Swan Lake” and Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” and interviews with teachers, management, students and the company’s biggest stars. As the season progresses, we witness a human comedy to rival those performed onstage. But this comedy is suddenly set against a tragic backdrop when terrorist attacks plunge Paris into mourning. Nevertheless, the determined members of the Paris Opera know the show must go on.
Switzerland, France / 110 minutes / subtitles
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