Coming to VOD tomorrow, Friday, September 2: BIG VOICE
Varda Bar-Kar’s portrait of a high school choir and its teacher debuted at Am Docs last year. Screenings followed at Julien Dubuque, Heartland, Sonoma, and Fargo, among other regional events.
In Bar-Kar’s film, choral director Jeffe Huls finally realizes a long-held desire: Assembling a 32-member mixed madrigal choir at Santa Monica High School. Despite making his singers prove their mettle through an audition process, Huls finds the group has serious problems harmonizing, distracted by a range of concerns both academic and personal. Bar-Kar follows the frustrated leader as he attempts to focus and motivate his charges to become the ensemble of his dreams. While the demanding Huls is fleshed out to some extent, demonstrating his passion for music and teaching, the film unfortunately too briefly sketches out the various choir members to allow them to properly register as individuals. While viewers may enjoy the music Huls manages to coax out of his mardigals, their overall story may prove less memorable.