History 52'

Maestros of the Camps

From Europe to Asia and America, music has been written in secret by prisoners of all origins and religions in the concentration camps of the Second World War. Professional composers or amateur musicians, they left gems in all styles and genres: songs and masses, sonatas and tangos. Written on toilet paper, by night at candle light, sometimes destroyed, most of these works have never been heard.

For over 20 years, one man has single-handedly tracked down, restored and performed over 4,000 of these pieces of music. His challenge: bring these forgotten music to life.

Like a road movie, this documentary takes us to the heart of a captivating and moving journey alongside this modern-day Sherlock Holmes. From Barletta to Auschwitz, via Prague, Berlin and Jerusalem, we meet the last survivors and the descendants of these rebel musicians. Embark on this desperate race against oblivion and plunge into the memory of those who used music as an act of resistance: the maestros of the camps. 

Also available in 74' version, here: "The Maestro, for the camps' music to live"

Direction: Alexandre Valenti

Production: Intuition Films & Docs, Les Bons Clients, DocLab, Intergea

Languages: French, English

awards & festivals

  • International Festival of History Films of Pessac

    Public Prize

see also