= Talented and Troubled
I watched this movie with a sense of awe I have not felt
for any other musician. Not only does Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
have a great sense of humor, she if overflowing with creativity
and pure sassiness. Beneath her animated surface there also
seems to be a hurricane of emotions which finds its release in
her dynamic musical career.
It is as if Nadja becomes the music she is playing or is it
just that the music possesses her? She is intense in her
original interpretation and hauntingly expressive style. The
music does not seem to be coming from the violin, but from deep
You have to ask yourself why anyone so talented and filled
with sensitivity would consider ending their life. Especially
when you are one of the world’s preeminent violinists.
I believe personally that very creative people can also be
struggling from a deep depression or unfulfilled longing of the
soul. While Nadja sought obvious release through her playing, I
think writers find the same expression through words. Both can
alternate between utter hopelessness and extreme creativity. At
times writing and music almost seem to be “born of pain.”
What is so powerful about her story is how her mother tells
her it takes courage to be happy. How true! It is far easier to
give up in light of your circumstances. It takes a deep inner
strength and sense of hope to continue in life when you would
rather give up. Yet what a talent she has. While her talents
were unquestionable at the time, her talent for living still
needed to be developed. She had a passion for music, but no
passion for life.
Not only do we learn how Nadja’s father abandoned her
family when she was a very young child, we also learn about her
regret of never meeting her father. It seems from what she says
in this documentary, work was first in her life and she put
health and love second and third. She might be interested to
know that smokers have a higher risk of developing depression.
In the movie, she seemed to be a chain smoker.
“Cries of the Heart
” by Ravi Zacharias might be helpful
for anyone going through what Nadja seems to have experienced.
“Manic Depression and Creativity
” by D. Jablow Hershman
discusses Beethoven and other great talents through the ages.
"The Omega-3 Connection
" by Andrew L. Stoll would also be worth a
read as nutrition is always important.
Where does the love come from when you can’t supply it
yourself? What makes life worth living when even your own
amazing talent isn’t satisfying the longings of the soul?
Nadja says she believes in God, but at times he seems really
busy. There is definitely a difference between knowing there is
a God and having a relationship with him. Or at least a reason
for living that goes beyond this temporary existence.
This musician’s life shows how material success and fame
means little when maybe what we all really want is love and a
happy healthy life. Not to mention hope in this life and hope
for the life beyond.
I truly hope Nadja has found peace and ways to deal with the
sheer explosion of creativity surging from her very soul.
An eccentric, wild and unorthodox story of a musician's
~The Rebecca Review
The Dancer - Ballet
A Dancer's Life, February 17, 2007
Katja Bjorner's dedication to ballet is revealed in a personal
profile directed by Donya Feurer. Her tenacity is ever present
during the vigorous training sessions where nothing less than
perfection is acceptable.
Still, in this world of strict regimens, there is an
undercurrent of elation as the dancers start to realize their
dreams. The teachers express a warmth and patience that reveals
they must truly believe in their student's ability to excel
One of the highly intriguing aspects of this sensitive portrait
is how the ballet shoes are created. While dance itself is
portrayed with exquisite beauty, the life behind the scenes is
captured with equal clarity. The Dancer reveals the life of a
ballet student from every angle, except having a personal life
or friends outside of class seems completely absent.
The dedication it takes to reach the desired level of perfection
sweeps everything aside in favor of an art form that brings
breathless beauty to the stage.
~The Rebecca Review