El Sistema/Tocar Y Luchar (To Play & To Fight)

July 11, 2010 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Only those who dream achieve the impossible.


To Play and To Fight (Tocar Y Luchar) is an inspirational story of courage, determination, ambition, and love showing us that… only those who dream can achieve the impossible.

To Play and To Fight presents the captivating story of the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra System – an incredible network of hundreds of orchestras formed within most of Venezuela’s towns and villages. Once a modest program designed to expose rural children to the wonders of music, the system has become one of the most important and beautiful social phenomena in modern history.

The documentary portrays the inspirational stories of world class musicians trained by the Venezuelan system (El Sistema), including the Berlin Philharmonic’s youngest player Edicson Ruiz and world renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel. With interviews with many of the world’s most celebrated musicians including the great tenor Placido Domingo, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Guiseppe Sinopoli, and Eduardo Mata.

“The System (El Sistema) performs a preventative function in that it helps young people to stay away from drug abuse, prostitution, alcoholism, indifference, crime, bad company, and corruption. The reason is that participating in the orchestral movement is an inexhaustible source of personal development directed toward the fulfillment of both personal and collective goals. The child, when discovering the joys of practicing a musical instrument and getting an inkling of the possibilities that the orchestra can offer him or her, begins to aspire towards a better economic and social situation for his or her family and relatives. This represents the will to improve the conditions for all, as well as to improve the condition of oneself.” – Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema

Featuring Los Angeles Philharmonic Guest Conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

Directed by Alberto Arvelo. 71 minutes 2006 Documentary

$5 Suggested Donationimagine syracuse logoSponsored by Imagine Syracuse