Beliefnet
Number 10:
"Immortal Beloved" (1994)

We hear the "Ode to Joy," the final movement of the stupendous Ninth Symphony, towards the end of Bernard Rose's Beethoven film biography, "Immortal Beloved." The screen shows Beethoven as a young boy staring out into the starry night. Then, to escape undeserved punishment from his father, he flees to a nearby lake, where he floats face up in the water. As the camera slowly pulls back, the speckles of light on the lake become the stars, and the boy's image recedes, getting smaller and smaller until he is only a dot of light, indistinguishable from the night stars, as the music thunders out its message of divine joy and human brotherhood. This is breathtaking cinema, a visual poetry that reunites everything that is separate--exactly as the words of the "Ode to Joy" tell us.

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