Distant Harmony

Director: DeWitt Sage

Institute History

  • 1988 Sundance Film Festival


Spectacularly mounted and beautifully shot, Distant Harmony follows the reception of the great Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, in China, from his hesitant arrival at the Beijing airport to a hastily organized concert in the Great Hall of People for some 10,000 leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

Traveling with the Genoa Opera Company, award-winning filmmaker DeWitt Sage, manages to capture Pavarotti’s initial nervousness over the Chinese who are not familiar with his repertoire. But, when he breaks into the famous duet from La Boheme, the audience bursts into spontaneous cheers. At that moment, Distant Harmony achieves its purpose far beyond a portrait of Pavarotti to become a metaphor for the mixing of people and voices, east and west.

— Tony Safford

Screening Details

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