A Maestra film reviewed

A Maestra film reviewed

By our roving New York critic Susan Hall:

Maestra, a lively documentary film by Maggie Contreras, opens in the United States this week. The film follows five contestants in the second biennial Maestra competition in Pris for young women conductors. This is not a film about music, but rather about competition among women. Since women started playing traditional men’s sports like ice hockey, observers have noted their style is markedly different from men’s: they cooperate and don’t compete with each other. This is evident in Maestra.

The producer/director selected five women from a pool of fourteen. One of them, Anna Sułkowska-Migoń, fortuitously won the competition. Another, Tamara, was clearly the “Marin Alsop” of the group, incredibly generous and supportive. Her nature shone through in a talk back at the Angelika Cinema in New York where the film is premiering.

Alsop is one of the judges in Maestra. The director singles her out to give intermittent tips. As always, Ms. Alsop is clear and on point. The most important remark Alsop makes in the film is her last one: musicians are probably born, not made. This is not a film is about winning, rather about inner peace. The winning performance is oddly intercut with a less emphatic interpretation.

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