Living Bach

54 minutes MDR/ARTE
114 minutes cinema

There are more than 300 Bach choirs and Bach ensembles worldwide, most of which are made up of amateurs. For many, their lives are inextricably linked with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. What do people seek and find in his music? What connects them across continents? What fascination lies in the music of the famous German composer, which manages to transcend borders, cultures, religions and centuries? The film embarks on a journey through six continents to meet amateur musicians and singers who have made Bach their "centerpiece". They live in Japan, Paraguay, the USA, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, have different cultures, religions, realities of life and yet they are all united by one great passion: Johann Sebastian Bach. LIVING BACH tracks down these enthusiasts and reveals extraordinary, exciting and life-changing relationships to Bach's incomparable work. We meet people for whom Bach's music brings joy, comfort, hope or understanding. Regardless of culture, background, or wealth, they are all united by an almost identical set of values. They are strong, interesting and multi-layered characters who serve no clichés. They integrate cultural influences without denying their own. In June 2022, the protagonists will meet at the world's largest Bach Festival in Leipzig.
"Living Bach" is a carefully composed film of very different voices that unite at the end to create a sound and something that humanity is just so often missing - namely community, beyond language, origin, gender, religion and culture, social status. The film interweaves the modern stories of diverse people from all parts of the world and shows that diversity does not separate, but is a strength.  With striking images and the magical sounds of Bach, the journey becomes a unique work in search of Bach's universal secret.
A film about people, values and cultures - and the music and magic of JS Bach that works around the globe.