¡Viva Maestro!

(USA/2021—directed by Theodore Braun) 

When conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s international tours are disrupted by deadly protests across his native Venezuela, one of the world’s most beloved musicians faces the challenge of a lifetime—one that will deepen his commitment to the mentor who changed his life, upend relationships with friends and musicians he’s led since his teens, and test his belief in art’s transformative capacity. One of the few classical music figures of rock-star fame, Dudamel has been music director of Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra since he was 18 years old.

This stirring documentary considers the crisis with which Dudamel contends: his long-established efforts to remain apolitical in the face of violent unrest in his native country. Should he speak out and enrage powerful figures or remain silent against the strains of his conscience? His remarkable response is an innovative, triumphant concert that celebrates the power of art to renew and unite. (99 minutes) 

“Character is at the heart of ¡Viva Maestro!—Dudamel’s personal character and the character of his music making. In Dudamel’s case, what you see is what you hear, and that’s what makes him—and the movie—riveting.” –Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times