Parents' Guide to

From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Violin virtuoso's trip to China will open eyes and ears.

Movie G 2001 84 minutes
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For musical families, this is a must-see; Stern's love and passion for music extends to virtually every scene. For musicians of all ages (and all instruments), this documentary offers an inspiring glimpse into the thoughts and beliefs of a lover of music and a master of the violin.

Though modern kids might not realize the importance of Stern's visit to China in 1979, as the Cold War raged on and China was not the relatively open society it is today, From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China still manages to show the wonder and joy of the pursuit of music, and how two different societies respond to and think about music. Music as a more profound form of communication is a major theme in the film, and Isaac Stern exemplifies this idea with great gusto -- in his playing, in his demeanor, and in his words of advice and encouragement to the children and teenagers he teaches along the way.

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