“Orchestra of Exiles” ambitiously recounts the remarkable saga of one man’s drive to create a supreme symphony orchestra in 1937 Palestine, composed of Jewish refugees from Hitler-threatened Europe. Bronislaw Huberman, considered by many the greatest violinist of his day, put aside all personal glory, using his fame to simultaneously preserve Jewish cultural traditions and rescue as many as possible from the Nazi scourge. Unfortunately, the lion’s share of Josh Aronson’s film consists of pantomimic, less-than-mesmerizing reconstructions of events narrated in voiceover. Inspirational docu will nevertheless delight target auds upon its Oct. 26 release.
This heroic bio-docu celebrating Huberman’s achievements begins with his renown as a child prodigy; violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Meta and Pinchas Zuckerman energetically rhapsodize over Huberman’s subsequent illustrious career. But the worsening situation in 1930s Germany and Huberman’s wildly enthusiastic welcome in Palestine led him to subordinate his own talent and defiantly assemble an autonomous Jewish symphony orchestra, even snagging the passionately anti-Nazi maestro of maestros, Arturo Toscanini, to conduct the initial concerts. But despite lively commentaries by a pantheon of master musicians and magnificently performed classical pieces, “Exiles” only distantly echoes Huberman’s visionary adventure.