Opening 17 Mar 2016
Retired teacher Martin (Selge) inherits an original page of manuscript by J.S. Bach from an old friend who migrated to Brazil. Martin must pick up this inheritance in person in Brazil. Once there, he realizes that language is a problem, especially after his papers, luggage, and the manuscript are stolen. A young man, Candido, agrees to help him, but only if Martin leaves retirement, so to speak, and teaches music to youngsters in a juvenile detention center. These kids are older than their years, used to fending for themselves. They have never had an opportunity to develop anything except a sense for survival; they have a natural talent for music. Martin opens new worlds, both figuratively: a new world in music and literally: a new world in Germany when they travel to Bückeburg for a performance. The ending is predictable, but the transformation of the street children and Martin’s knowledge gained from them are uplifting.
Bach in Brazil was filmed in Ouro Preto, Brazil, as well as in Bückeburg and Hamburg, Germany (and partly financed by the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig Holstein). This is director Ansgar Ahlers’ first film. At the 2015 Filmfest Hamburg he said, “One can achieve much with music. Also, I was interested in the contrasts between the German and the Brazilian culture, as well as between an older man and juvenile delinquents.” (Becky Tan)