Year: 2012
Run Time: 83 minutes

The Ukrainian-Swiss pianist Alena Cherny is a woman impassioned. As she describes her life growing up under Communism and her subsequent work on international concert stages, her emotions color her entire being. Originally from Romny, Ukraine, Alena was sent to a music boarding school in Kiev. Though religion was forbidden, she was drawn to the church as a refuge from her close living quarters and the competition at school. Now Alena travels back in time -- in a van with a beautiful grand piano, which she is donating to her first music school in Romny. Since the country she abandoned for Switzerland no longer exists, it’s not exactly a homecoming. Wistfully, she visits her parents and old music teachers, and everywhere she hears the ghostly refrains of the past. But it’s time to move on. In an emotional farewell, Alena dedicates the piano to her school, thus leaving a part of herself behind. APPASSIONATA is a moving portrait of a sensitive soul whose life begins and ends with music. (In German, Russian, and Ukrainian with subtitles) – B.B.

Christian Labhart

Paul Riniker

Christian Labhart

Gabriel Sandru

Caterina Mona

Director Bio
Christian Labhart was born in 1953 in Zurich. He taught school and has been a farmer and homemaker. Since 2000 he has also worked as an independent documentary filmmaker.

Select Filmography
"Kinder in Kosova" (2000), "Die Brücke von Mitrovica" (2002), "Mančs Sperber – ein treuer Ketzer" (2005), "Zum Abschied Mozart" (2006), "Zum Auftakt Rossini" (2008), "Zwischen Himmel und Erde - Anthroposophie heute" (2009), "Education is Not For Sale" (2011), APPASSIONATA (2012)

Print Source

Christian Labhart

This film is presented with the generous sponsorship of LYNN GOTTLOB.

Community Partner

Music Settlement

The CIFF39 is screening in 11 neighborhood screening locations! >

The CIFF39 is screening in 11 neighborhood screening locations!

See where we'll be and what we're screening by clicking here.

Latest Updates >

Latest Updates

Don't forget to check the Latest Updates page for the most updated information on CIFF Late Additions & Stand By.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • foursquare
  • iphone
  • android