Music became both resistance and weapon for the prisoners at Terezin Concentration Camp. Led by a courageous young conductor, the Jewish prisoners learned a monumental work of music, the Verdi Requiem, by rote, from a single score, and performed it sixteen times during the last two years of World War II.
Perhaps only in music, the earliest of languages, can the language of Eros, of deep emotions and deep feeling, be touched. Setting music in the context of biology, history, culture, the world situation and the psyche, we will begin by exploring briefly the necessity for music in our lives.
This introduction will set the stage for viewing the feature documentary film The Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin. Conductor Murry Sidlin, who discovered this story, spent years documenting it and working toward taking the Verdi to Terezin again, as a memorial to those who sang and died there. The result is this film.