16 Mag “Music Lives Here” by Polina Stepanova
Polina Stepanova gives us an engaging documentary of great technical value. It is increasingly rare today to find documentaries that can mix an exciting narrative with valuable stylistic research. This wonderful short film revolves around the musicians who animate the regional Philharmonic Hall in Irkutsk. But Stepanova is a director of evident talent and like any great storyteller, she takes the heart of the narrative in many directions, human, universal. “Music Lives Here” expands, passes the walls of the Hall and pours out onto the street. What the film makes us know with grace and discretion is the culture of an entire people, expressed through music, and how this culture mixes in an always profitable exchange with the rest of the world. The moving relationship between an orchestra conductor and his musicians ties together protagonists of this wonderful reality.
Stepanova with a spectacular intuition and great artistic sensibility seems to combine the expressive power of cinema with that of music, which is at the center of the film. Thus the images seem to become a vehicle and metaphor for the sound streams that surround the viewer and the film is a sensorial triumph. The city seems to expand the spaces of the orchestra and with great technical mastery, editing and directing, the border of the visual experience overlaps with the music. The result more than a film is a real journey.