God's Fiddler: Jascha Heifetz Image

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  • Summary: Not since Paganini had there been such a magician on the violin.
    In this revealing documentary about the legendary musician we see vintage filmed performance clips of Jascha Heifetz and learn that he was the first truly modern violin virtuoso, the man about whom Itzhak Perlman said, “When
    I spoke with him, I thought, ‘I can’t believe I’m talking with God’.” This insightful film portrays an artist for whom only perfection would do, a musical wunderkind who went on to set the standards for nearly a century. We get to know Jascha Heifetz through home movies and personal family photos taken from 1903-1987, a prestigious concert artist so well known in popular culture, his name became shorthand for greatness, for everyone from Jack Benny to The Muppets to Woody Allen. This unique program includes interviews with the great violinists of his generation, and from many of his former students, telling how Heifetz was a legendary but mysterious figure whose story embodies the dual nature of artistic genius: the paradox of how a mortal man lives with immortal gifts - gifts he must honor, but which extract a life long price. (Kultur International Films)
  • Director: Peter Rosen
  • Genre(s): Biography, History, Music, Musical, Documentary
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Runtime: 88 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Nov 10, 2011
    An informative if uninvigorating look at the violinist Itzhak Perlman calls "the first true modern virtuoso player," Peter Rosen's God's Fiddler: Jascha Heifetz will draw only the most ardent classical fans to its niche theatrical run but should please a wider audience after making its way to educational TV.
  2. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Nov 10, 2011
    Once Heifetz becomes a household name, Rosen struggles mightily to milk drama not from his musical genius, but from his relatively unremarkable personal life.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Nov 8, 2011
    His lightning-fast fingers can't fail to impress even those unschooled in the classical idiom, but when not center stage, Heifetz proves a far more elusive figure, firmly out of the grasp of Rosen's film.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Humanick
    Nov 11, 2011
    If the film were in fact a pastry, it might look like the first effort of a blind baker, wildly uneven and inconsistent in ingredient distribution.
  5. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Nov 10, 2011
    The film, though generous with doses of Heifetz in performance, isn't entirely successful at illuminating the man.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Nov 10, 2011
    While some documentaries are broad enough in theme and creative enough in style to attract a wide-ranging audience, others remain best-suited to a smaller group of devotees. Such is the case for Peter Rosen's biography of violinist Jascha Heifetz.