Arvo Pärt is the most performed living composer in the world and known for his minimalistic style that employs his self-invented compositional technique: tintinnabuli. It is this harmonious, spiritual and minimalistic approach to music that forms the basis of That Pärt Feeling – a feeling of wholeness, beauty and essence of being, embraced by millions of persons all around the world.
Pärt is considered often to be something of a recluse and his person and work has rarely been documented on film. Nevertheless, it becomes clear in this documentary, that this characterization of Pärt as a hermit is somewhat inaccurate and above all, misses the point. We get to know Arvo Pärt as a composer combining an incredible sensitivity with humour and energy in his work. One of the discoveries of That Pärt Feeling is, that it’s not through words and his person that this great artist communicates, but simply through music. What he wants to say and what he means, is written in notes.
Pärt’s intense collaboration with the Cello Octet Amsterdam forms the heart of this documentary which sheds a bright light on Pärt’s universe. A universe not only inhabited by classical musicians like Tõnu Kaljuste, Candida Thompson or Daniel Reuss, but also by choreographers like Jiří Kylián, filmmakers like Alain Gomis and young techno musicians like Kara-Lis Coverdale. They are all looking for that Pärt feeling.
-Synopsis by Berta Film
That Pärt Feeling had its world premiere at the ZagrebDox film festival in Croatia on 26th of February 2019 and was selected for Beldocs (2019), Berkshire International Film Festival (2019), Two Riversides Arts and Film Festival (2019) and Arvo Pärt Centre Film Evenings (2019).
On 27th of February 2019 the international premiere took place in the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, with a Q&A with the director Paul Hegeman and Channel Manager of the classical TV channel Stingray Brava, Maarten Walraven.
The film was released in the Dutch cinemas by Mokum Filmdistributie on 28th of February 2019 where it attracted around 10.000 visitors. The documentary was subsequently released in the United States on 24th of May 2019 by Film Movement and in Canada on 15th of July 2019. The latest theatrical release was on 10th of September 2020 in Germany by Film Kino Text Verleih, one day before Arvo Pärt’s 85th birthday.
The film has been sold to the Estonian, Taiwanese and Finnish TV broadcasters.
Watch the trailer below: