Small Wonders (1995)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Alternate title:  Fiddlefest

USA, 1995.  Four Oaks Foundation.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Allan Miller.  Film Editing by Allan Miller.  

Those who enjoyed the Meryl Streep film Music of the Heart should definitely get a look at the documentary that inspired it. Originally titled Fiddlefest when it was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Documentary Feature, the film follows violin teacher  as she goes from school to school in Harlem teaching inner city kids how to play violin. Cutbacks are threatening to close down her program, but she’s planning on giving the system a great fight it won’t forget by holding a concert at Carnegie Hall and raising funds to keep music in the schools. The film interviews many of her family members and colleagues, plus features appearances by legendary musicians like  and (who helped with the Carnegie Hall concert and appeared again as themselves in the Streep film), but even without them Guaspari-Tsavaras’ fiery personality is enough to make this a satisfying and truly moving film.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Documentary Feature


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