Dec. 18, 2017
What a wonderful documentary film. I felt as if I were in the same room as Zuzana and that I knew her. With all the drama and sadness in her life, to be so positive with brilliant talent that was so uplifting, fuels one with hope. I believe there is a saying that out of sadness comes strength. I certainly left on a high flying cloud.
- Ian L.
High Flying Cloud
Dec. 17, 2017
There are no words to describe the achievement of bringing the extraordinarily beautiful Zuzana back to life for countless new admirers. What a beautiful mind! What a beautiful heart! What grace! What talent!
I am looking out onto the rich, golden colors of our enchanted Fall garden and listening to the mellifluous tones of Zuzana's harpsichord. The most apt remark in the discussion after seeing the film last night was made by the woman who drew parallels between Bach's structured approach to his music and Zuzana's own life. Listening to people such as Zuzana Rusickova - and there are not many walking amongst us - makes life worth living.
- Marta E.
Dec. 17, 2017
We were very much impressed by the richness and quality of the documentary yesterday (at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC). I love the harpsichord and the different emotions that can be drawn from it. Zuzana: What a lady, what a career and what a life! She seemed to be invincible, despite all the hate the Jews encountered in her country.
Dec. 16, 2017
The film about Zuzana Ruzickova is brilliant: beautifully constructed, magnetic from the opening scene, and a perfect arc of life history and music dedication. She truly was a great artist, shaped and inspired by the world that surrounded her with all of its complex evolutions. The tragic vision she inherited from it became an inspired thrust to live music, and offer it to all in her path. Thank you for making the film.
- Murry Sidlin, President and Creative Director of the Defiant Requiem Foundation; and Distinguished conductor, conducting teacher, Holocaust educator and lecturer
Nov. 19, 2017
We attended tonight’s amazing UK premiere of the deeply moving film about Zuzana Holocaust survivor, world famous harpsichordist and first musician to record all the keyboard works of Johan Sebastian Bach. Above all she comes across as a great human being whose positive spirit and unassuming modesty touched us all. We are enormously grateful to all who were responsible for this great film which deserves the widest possible circulation and pride of place in Holocaust museums, music colleges, schools and universities throughout the world. In this way her great spirit, and brilliant recordings of the immortal works of J S Bach will, like them, live on down the ages and help ensure that the Holocaust will never be forgotten.”
October 11, 2017
I am deeply saddened by Zuzana's passing, and yet when I think of her all I have are warm thoughts. She was so incredibly kind and generous to me for so many years. I loved her beautiful handwritten notes and postcards, and I loved speaking to her on the phone. She was always full of humor and laughing, even if she might not have been feeling so well that particular day. I knew that if I spoke to Zuzana, I would always feel better after the phone call. Always! I can't say that about many people in my life. And I loved the way she was true to her word and followed through on whatever she said she'd do. But I'm sure I don't have to tell you any of this. From my experience she treated everyone she met the same way, regardless of whether it was a famous conductor, cab driver, or the man at the vegetable stand. She was truly special. A great spirit. I am so lucky to have discovered her music so many years ago. She has enriched my life in countless ways and not a day goes by that I don't think of her or enjoy her playing.
- Robert Tifft
A Bach-like Sense of Harmony and Delicacy
May 24, 2017
I was so impressed by the light touch that the film had. Beforehand, I was a little nervous about seeing it, because I tend to be strongly affected by sad or violent things; but the tragic parts were treated in such a deft, delicate way, that they weren't overwhelming, but just fit perfectly into the picture of this amazing life. I was wondering if you were inspired by the quality of Bach's music in the way you put the film together, because it really had a Bach-like sense of harmony and delicacy. Afterwards, my boyfriend and I were talking about how the world would be a better place if everyone could see the Zuzana movie. Congratulations on such an amazing film!
- Maud Taber Thomas
May 24, 2017
I see a lot of independent movies and documentaries and I show up at E Street Cinema a lot. So, I’m always happy to see a documentary that doesn’t fall into one of two categories: 1. Man Killing the Planet; and 2. Don’t Eat That. You can tell if a movie is good almost immediately, and Zuzana passes that 90 second test. I thought, 'Yeah, here’s the music documentary Erroll Morris wishes he’d made'. I flashed on Fog of War (add Nazis) early on. Your subject is a revelation. You were attracted to her background which is compelling but her ‘soul’ which emerges along the way is transcendent and provides you, happily and luckily, with a dramatic fulcrum that many documentaries lack. And, the audience gets to meet a person and hear a story which seems familiar at first but isn’t exactly what you expect. One is forced to imagine being in her place and none of us would measure up, would we?
- Chip DeMatteo
Full Frame Film Festival
April 8, 2017
This intensely personal encounter with Ruzickova convincingly demonstrates the existence of hope and perseverance throughout the Czech Republic’s turbulent 20th century. Can the beauty of Bach’s music provide healing from the atrocities of the Holocaust and the subsequent persecution of artists by Stalinist regimes? Some familiar archival footage is used judiciously in this context, but the film is mostly a paean to the music of Bach as well as the extraordinary talent of this influential harpsichordist. Directors Peter Getzels and Harriet Gordon Getzels provide us with a history lesson not to be forgotten, especially in times of totalitarian threats.
February 23, 2017
The film captured so many issues...Jewish history, human suffering, music, perseverance, the ability to tell, the amazing roller coaster of Europe as exemplified by the events in Czechoslovakia, are just a few of the aspects highlighted so beautifully. One always wonders how many Zuzanas who did not have Frank Vogl as a cousin disappeared from our memory without trace. You have succeeded in carrying out the monumental task of immortalizing the legacy of such an important personality and, along the way, enabling future generations to be exposed or at least to have a glimpse of the complex mosaic of our recent history.
With Love and Depth
February 23, 2017
I was enormously impressed by Zuzana's "performance," the details and stories she recalled, and her ability to talk about her experiences with clarity, depth and love. She touched me profoundly. You also found and secured amazing footage to create the film. Bravo to all the artists who did the filming and all the producers.
Joy of Music
February 22, 2017
I thought about Zuzana Ruzickova's life a lot last night and continue to do so this morning. I learned so much including about Czechoslovakian history. In addition to emphasizing the joy and rejuvenation principles of music, the film emphasizes, as you know, human dignity and incredible strength. It is a riveting film, and needs to be shown, especially these days.
Private Screening in new york
February 22, 2017
To have a movie haunt me into the evening and next day resonates to the impact of the film. As a spiritual being Zuzana's message of hope and letting go of anger and connection just resonated personally to me. It was all about her choices in the end after overcoming horrific events. I just wanted to reach out and hug her...she was so real, so smart and so forthcoming. It must have been amazing to get to know this incredible woman.
- Maxine Lange, Principal, Bermax Corporation
February 7, 2017
We found the film to be moving, impactful and captivating. Zuzana’s life at once serves as a model of living to the fullest (no matter how daunting and unfathomable the obstacles) and simultaneously offers a chilling, though ultimately inspiring, history lesson as well.
- Film Festival Committee