Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


A portrait of Seiji Ozawa, Japanese conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. A beguiling, thoughtful, self-effacing man, Seiji Ozawa speaks with great passion and precision about being caught between Eastern and Western cultures. Ozawa, one of the world’s leading conductors, take considerable time to teach youthful aspirants. With unerring judgement, he knows which ones heed encouragement, which ones have suffered from too much pressure. “I will have a drink with him tonight. That’s part of a teacher’s job,” he tell the filmmaker.

Ozawa seems a man totally at ease with himself. Perhaps it is the hard-won victory born of a life he acknowledges has been difficult )”I suffered so much to become a conductor”). In a rare moment of discomfort with the camera’s presence—he is engaged in a heartfelt discussion with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma about the ability of Orientals to play Western music—he asks the camera to stop. In all, a touching look at a figure of enormous creativity and compassion.

— Karen Cooper

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]