The wonder and the grace of Alice Sommer Herz
Everything is a Present
Christopher Nupen Films - A11CND (DVD Video)
Alice Sommer Herz (piano)

Beethoven : Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight' (1st movement)

Schubert : Impromptu in A flat major, D935 No. 2

Region: 0 (all regions)
Picture format: 16:9 FHA
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles: GB/DE/ES/FR/IT
Running time: 54 mins
Format: NTSC

How many people remain in good shape, both mentally and physically, at the age of 106? The answer is very few but Alice Sommer Herz is among those exceptional few. And how many have the gift of forgiveness? And how many are free of hatred? Gigi Sommer has both of those qualities. She was imprisoned, with her six-year-old son, in the Theresienstadt concentration camp and saw unspeakable atrocities. She lost both her mother and her husband in Nazi death camps but she does not hate her persecutors. That is not because they are anything other than monstrous criminals but because she has the wisdom to know that all hatred hurts the soul of the hater, not the hated and Gigi Sommer’s inspiring soul is among the things which she has kept intact and unblemished through her hundred and six years.

She was a pianist of distinction, played more than 100 concerts in the Theresienstadt camp and is in no doubt that music saved both her sanity and her life and the lives of many others in those unimaginable circumstances.

On this DVD Alice Sommer speaks with her quiet grace and wisdom about her life, her experiences and her beliefs. She also plays music by Schubert, Smetana and Beethoven in a manner that reminds us of her teacher Artur Schnabel and a bygone age in music making.

At the age of 104 she published a best-selling book, written in collaboration with her by two German writers, (A Garden of Eden in Hell), which has already been printed in seven different languages. That, and our film, We Want the Light of which she is the heroine, have made Gigi Sommer an international star.

Film remembers our artists in a way that not one of the other media is quite able to match and Gigi Sommer is an artist worth remembering.