With Sonia Wieder

With Sonia Wieder-Atherton


Chantal Akerman

They say that she, that Sonia Wieder Atherton was born in San Francisco, that she grew up in New York, and then Paris. It’s true. That she chose the cello because she wanted a stringed instrument that could make the sound last as long as she wanted it to. It’s true. That she was overwhelmed by the voice of Paul Robeson and then by the voice of Maria Callas. By her expressiveness that can transmute into a shout, by her legato. Yes, she did everything humanly possible to make her instrument sing. So that it became voice. Its true. This sound, this voice, finally appeared to her in Moscow in the form of Russian cellist Natalia Shakhovskaia. They say she plays Schumann, Chostakovitch, Elgar or Bruch. That she can go from Monteverdi to Kurtag, from Bach to Dusapin or even to Dutilleux without the slightest transition, it’s true. They write for her. They say also that she has had an unusual career, with an unusual repertory, that’s what they say about her. But she herself—she just keeps searching, always and forever, she progresses, she advances, she never stops searching, searching for the breach. The sound, the life’s breath. The life’s breath of origins. It’s true.

Festivals & Awards

Sheffield DocFest 2021 – Official Selection

Original title: Avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Production: Rue des Roches Noires - ARTE France - INA

Nationality: France

Year of production: 2003

Running time: 51'

Language: French


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