“Can anyone who has heard this music – I mean truly hear it – really be a bad person?”
from a 2006 German movie : The Lives of Others, “Sonata of a Good Man” written by Gabriel Yarid and performed by Karin Okada
The movie is a magnificent one, winning top awards. On Amazon, where you may rent or buy it, there are 706 top reviews and only 42 with 1 to 2 stars. So I am not alone in highly recommending that you watch it. For those of us who don’t speak German, there are English sub-titles – and the movie is so good that American viewers don’t notice the handicap. It’s set in East Berlin in 1984 before the fall of the wall and celebrates the universal desire for the freedom that allows people to flourish, invent, and create and illustrates the soul deadening effect of stifling rules and political correctness.
The seed of the plot comes from a quote by Lenin when discussing Beethoven’s Apassionata. In a conversation with Maxim Gorky, he extolled the power of Beethoven, but added, “I can’t listen to music too often. It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid nice things, and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell.”