In this enlightening look at one of the greatest classical music figures of the 20th century, director Douglas Tirola mines a rich trove of interviews, television appearances, home movie footage, photos, letters to craft a comprehensive look at Leonard Bernstein, whose passion and drive took him well beyond the marvelous music he wrote and conducted.
Spanning the breadth of a life interwoven with key historic moments outside the concert hall, Bernstein’s Wall follows the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant who arrives in New York from his Boston hometown to eventually become Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and becomes a household name thanks to his numerous TV appearances, educating the public on all things symphonic, West Side Story, being seen with celebrities and politicians, and his crossing-the-line activism, from protesting the Vietnam War to (controversially) supporting the Black Panthers. Tirola incorporates Bernstein's personal life—his fraught relationship with his father, his marriage, his family life, his struggles to be at peace with his sexuality—to paint a complex portrait of a complex, driven individual who produced some of the most memorable music of his time as a product of those times. —Brian Gordon
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Douglas Tirola is an award-winning director and producer whose work premiered at Sundance, Berlinale, Tribeca, and SXSW. His films include Bloodroot, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, Hey Bartender, and An Omar Broadway Film. He also produced the critically acclaimed films Bisbee ‘17, and Making the Boys.