“Itzhak” is a rather fast-paced documentary about legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman. Director Alison Chernick follows Itzhak over a few months, as she tries to get a sense of a master nearing the end of his life. From being discovered by Ed Sullivan after arriving from Israel, Itzhak has had a crazy life. The guy works with Billy Joel, Steven Spielberg and even lands a Kennedy Center Honor. There’s the life-long legacy of classical music genius, but I feel that’s missing the obvious highlight.
That highlight being his dinner hang-out with Alan Alda. Just kidding. It’s Perlman’s quiet rage at the indignities still remaining in his life. The guy is world famous, meets Presidents and has hung with the greatest in pop culture. But, he has to wait for the NYPD to clear a homeless addict out of the ground floor handicapped bathroom, so that he can urinate. No matter what happens for Perlman in this documentary, his entire life keeps getting hung up on small moments.
Yet, the violin virtuoso moves past these moments with dignity. Whether he’s arguing with TSA, waiting on homeless to quit sleeping in his bathroom or just trying to make kids care about classical music…Perlman takes that fight head on. The guy is an inspiration. Check out the documentary.
- Not Rated
- 1 hr and 23 minutes
- Greenwich Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 4/20/18 (opens in Louisville exclusively at Village 8)
The Plot Thus Far
From Schubert to Strauss, Bach to Brahms, Mozart to…Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman’s violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life; “praying with the violin,” says renowned Tel Aviv violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Alison Chernick’s enchanting documentary looks beyond the sublime musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. Itzhak himself is funny, irreverent and self-deprecating, and here his life story unspools in conversations with masterful musicians, family and friends, and most endearingly his devoted wife of 50 years, Toby. Itzhak and Toby’s lives are dedicated to their large, loving, Jewish family in NYC and their continual support of young musicians.
As charming and entrancing as the famous violinist himself, ITZHAK is a portrait of musical virtuosity seamlessly enclosed in warmth, humor, and above all, love.