Beethoven Lives Upstairs

MPAA Rating: G

Entertainment: +3

Content: +4

When his father dies, ten year old Christoph (Illya Woloshyn) feels betrayed by his mother and uncle. They have rented his father's study to a madman. His uncle, a student at the Vienna musical conservatory, has rented the room to Ludwig Von Beethoven (Neil Munro). When Christoph complains to his uncle about the strange activities of the lodger, he is told about the musician's deafness. When Cristoph must deliver a note from the Prince, Beethoven takes interest in the boy which begins a curious friendship. Over the days, Christoph walks with and watches the eccentric genius compose his final symphony, the Ninth.

Beethoven was a unique musician because of his eventual deafness. The film shows his proverbial temper came from his desire for perfection as well as frustration with his handicap. Beethoven shouts and throws things at the housemaid, but later apologizes. Young boys in the street taunt the strange man but Christoph stands up for him. He shoves one boy down, but leaves before a fight can start. Through his talks with Christoph, Beethoven tells of his abusive father and how humiliated he feels by his deafness. The film gives a fresh insight into the man behind some of the greatest music ever written. It also gives viewers respect for the difficulties the hearing impaired must deal with. Produced by the Children's Group of Toronto, Canada, this is an enjoyable video for the whole family whether or not you like classical music.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
BMG Classical Music Service Inc. (available in video stores

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