I created this documentary in Washington, D.C. with “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, the oldest music ensemble in the United States. It tells the story of a piece that French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote and premiered on January 15, 1941 inside a World War II prisoner camp, after being captured by the Nazis. This film coincides with the 75th Anniversary of that debut. As a completely independent production, I created it to pay tribute to the alliance between the United States and France, at a time when apocalyptic themes remain timeless, and when our countries have renewed alliance in the face of recent tragedies. Combining archival footage from the war, visual art, scenic cinematography, interviews, rehearsal and performance, the film documents a serendipitous reading of this transcendent work, by members of a military who helped to liberate Europe.
Dedicated to my godfather Arthur L. Lentner (1938-2016), who honorably served in the United States military.