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El Sistema

José Antonio Abreu, Gustavo Dudamel,
Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra

A film by Paul Smaczny and Maria Stodtmeier. Venezuela's unique system of music education takes children from violent slums and turns some of them into world-class musicians. "El Sistema" shows how Venezuelan visionary Jose Antonio Abreu has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children over the past three decades. This lyrical and moving documentary takes us from the rubbish dumps and barrios of Caracas to the world's finest concert halls. Children from streets dominated by the gun battles of gang warfare are taken into music schools, given access to music, and taught through the model of the symphony orchestra how to build a better society. Paul Smaczny and Maria Stodtmeier's film finds hope and joy in unlikely places.

Grand Prix Golden Prague 2009, Rodos Ecofilms Special Jury Prize 2009, Rodos Ecofilms Feature Film Competition Award 2009, Gramophone Award 2010

Facts DVD Blu-ray

Item number
UPC number
Region code
Picture format
NTSC 16:9
Sound format
PCM Stereo
Dolby Digital 5.1
dts 5.1
Total running time
109 mins
Details running time
100 mins + 9 mins (Bonus)
English, French, German
Booklet notes
English, French, Spanish
No. of discs