Paths through the Labyrinth – The composer Krzysztof Penderecki

You know his music even if you haven’t heard his name. The soundtracks of films like „The Shining“ by Stanley Kubrick, „Shutter Island“ by Marting Scorsese, David Lynch’s „Wild at Heart” or Andrzej Wajda’s “Katyn” – it is all Penderecki. He is one of the last representatives of those great composers of the 19th century who had to able to compose everything: symphonies, operas, oratorios, concerts, chamber music. But Penderecki is also the composer of a huge nature park: he is a versed dendrologist and collects seeds and shoots from all over the world for his arboretum. He has planted more than 1,700 trees of all kind on his estate in Luslawice near Krakow. His passions are trees and notes. November 2013 the great Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki celebrated his 80th birthday.

„Paths through the Labyrinth“ is not a biopic. It is rather a filmic approach to the different passions of a Penderecki: music, botany, philosophy, family. A personal, intimate and entertaining portrait that provides insights into the world of a man who through musical and societal commitment establishes ties between East and West, tradition and modernity since many years.
The camera takes the audience on a journey through one year of the musician’s life, the year before his jubilee. It follows Penderecki from Krakow to Munich, from Vienna to Leipzig and, every now and then, to his estate in Luslawice. The composer looks back on the unusual beginnings of his career, on unexpected turns and ingenious ideas. We meet artists he is closely connected to and talk to friends and loved ones. Thoughts, conversations, music- and filmclips, meetings and nature create a fascinating, complex portrait.

Anna Schmidt accompanied the world famous man for one year and talked to many of his colleagues and companions: Andrej Wajda and Johnny Greenwood (“Radiohead”); Anne-Sophie Mutter, Julian Rachlin and Janine Jansen. The outcome is a bewilderingly cheerful portrait of a famous coeval.

Eine Produktion der Eikon Mitte Film und Fernsehproduktion GmbH in Co-Produktion mit Bow and Axe Entertainment und Zusammenarbeit mit schmidtFilm.
Gefördert von der Mitteldeutschen Medienförderung, der Sächsischen Landesmedienanstalt, der Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, dem Polnischen Filminstitut und der Filmkommission Kraków.

Written and directed by: Anna Schmidt
Assistant director: Susann Krüger
Director of Photography: Adam Bajerski, Stephan Boerger, Bogumil Godfrejow, Sebastian Hattop, Carsten Waldbauer
Sound: Christian Reiß, Thomas Chapmann, Johannes Doberenz, Daniel Fischer
Editor: Thomas Wellmann, Steffen Herrmann
Producer: Holm Taddiken
Redaktion: Winifred König