‘In the lovely documentary “That Pärt Feeling: The Universe of Arvo Pärt”, producer-director Paul Hegeman highlights the music of renowned Estonian composer Arvo Pärt while attempting to unveil the mystery around the purportedly reclusive writer of such famed works as “Tabula Rasa,” “Fratres,” “Trivium” and “Für Alina,” all stirringly performed here […] Listening to the film’s gorgeous renderings will make you a believer.’

Gary Goldstein

Los Angeles Times

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.

Production Year: 2019
Duration: 78 minutes
Language: English, Dutch, German, French
Country: Nedetherlands
Producer: Paul Hegeman Productions
Distribution: Mokum Filmdistributie (NL) – Film Movement (US/Canada) – Film Kino Text Filmverleih (DE)
Sales Agent Berta Film
Festivals
Zagreb Dox Film Festival – Croatia
Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival – Serbia
Berkshire International Film Festival – US
Two Riversides Film and Art Festival – Poland
Arvo Pärt Centre Film Evenings – Estonia
Sonika Ecrano Documentary&Music Festival – Portugal
Theatrical Release 
The Netherlands: 28th February 2019
US and Canada: 24th May 2019
Germany: 10th September 2020
TV
Finland
Estonia
New York
Italy
Taiwan

DIRECTED AND WRITTEN BY  PAUL HEGEMAN  

CINEMATOGRAPHY PAUL HEGEMAN AUKE DIJKSTRA

SOUND WOUTER VELDHUIS RAPHAEL BOURDON STEPHAN KOS

EDITING CAITLIN HULSCHER

SOUND DESIGN JAIM SAHULEKA

COLOR GRADING JOEL SAHULEKA

PRODUCED BY PAUL HEGEMAN

CAST

ARVO PÄRT

TÕNU KALJUSTE

JIŘĺ KYLIÁN

CELLO OCTET AMSTERDAM

KARA-LIS COVERDALE

CANDIDA THOMPSON AMSTERDAM SINFONIETTA

ALAIN GOMIS

RALPH VAN RAAT

DANIEL REUSS CAPPELLA AMSTERDAM

THE PRESS ABOUT THAT PÄRT FEELING

“A conventional documentary would be insufficient for the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, a renowned genius whose reticent nature belies his incandescent compositions. Dutch producer-director Paul Hegeman finds the 84-year-old artist at the height of his craft. Pärt’s musical storytelling has been described as minimalist, neoclassical, spiritual, and ethereal, and Hegeman effectively allows it to speak for itself. Rather than ticking the boxes of Pärt’s biography or talking to him at length about his process, Hegeman gives his audience plenty of opportunities to experience the feeling referenced in the doc’s title, through a wash of stirring communion that’s mainly conveyed in the film through Pärt’s rehearsals with the Cello Octet Amsterdam and performances in glittering concert halls around the world.”

Leah Pickett

Chicago Reader

What differentiates That Pärt Feeling: The Universe of Arvo Pärt from other such documentaries and biopics is the opportunity to watch a composer engage intimately not only with an orchestra’s conductor, but also individual musicians. Likewise, Hegeman’s camera observes his rapturous demeanor as his music is being played in rehearsal. Because of his unkempt beard and hair, Pärt sometimes comes off as a mad genius or nutty professor, with his head in the clouds and body on the ground. At other times, the 84-year-old composer seems perfectly normal. There’s no single, simple way to express passion. It’s easier to detect on the faces of the musicians and conductors Hegeman interviews, including classical musicians Tõnu Kaljuste, Candida Thompson and Daniel Reuss; choreographer Jirí Kylián; filmmakers Alain Gomis; and  musician Kara-Lis Coverdale. I didn’t expect to enjoy That Pärt Feeling: The Universe of Arvo Pärt as much as I did, let alone be emotionally stirred by the music.”

Gary Dretzka

Movie City News

“Arvo Pärt, arguably one of the most celebrated and performed composers alive, is considered something of a recluse […] However, Paul Hegeman’s documentary paints a totally different portrait, revealing an artist who combines sensitivity with jocular humor, humility and energy.” 

Jason Wood

The Wire

“This film by Dutchman Paul Hegeman offers a distinctive look at the influence of Arvo Pärt’s music, seeking to understand the wonder of Pärt through the eyes of professional musicians. Certainly, the composer reveals himself to the viewer from a different angle during an intensive period of rehearsals.”

Arvo Pärt Centre

“That Pärt Feeling: The Universe of Arvo Pärt serves to remind us of what a treasure we have in this wonderful man and his astonishing music that seems to emerge from a place and an era that the rest of us can never find on our own” 

Bondo Wyszpolski

Easy Reader

“That Pärt feeling is immediately felt when you listen to the music”

Erik Voermans

Het Parool

“The close-up of the humble genius with a sense of humor is the most beautiful image of the film”

Leo Bankersen

De Filmkrant

Stills from THAT PÄRT FEELING