The Haendel Variations
Christine Jezior’s documentary The Haendel Variations is a very unusual portrait of the musician, teacher, and humanist Ida Haendel. Among musicians, she is considered a legend, and yet, instead of focusing on the extraordinary career of the star violinist, the German-Polish filmmaker concentrates on the here and now of the 90-year-old artist. Her film is based entirely on material she shot between 2009 and 2017 at the end of Haendel’s career, a stage of her life marked by loss of dexterity and occasional loneliness. It is precisely in this fragile period where Jezior discovers the essence of the musician’s exceptional work. For Haendel, music and life are inseparable: when her fingers fail, she starts singing, when she doesn’t sing, she still lives with unflinching virtuosity. It is therefore wonderfully fitting that Jezior has structured her film according to musical movements. This well thought-through structure creates a stage which Ida Haendel enters with the grandeur and ease of a great performer.
Christina Jezior, born 1961 in Poland, works as screenwriter, producer and art manager. Living in Germany since 1986, she founded the concert agency Konzertagentur in 2000 and co-founded the production company MAAM (Multimedia, Art and More). She is also board member of the Filmbüro Bremen e.V. Her filmography includes numerous music documentaries that were screened, nomi-nated and awarded at international festivals, for instance I’ll Play it for You (2008), Ida Haendel – This Is My Heritage (2011) and Why Competitions (2011), as well as experimental music videos für contemporary classical music. Her documentary The Haendel Variations (2018) was nominated for the GRANIT Prize for Documentary Films at Hof International Film Festival and screened at Berlinale’s “European Film Market” in 2019.