Hero of the Street

Alex and His Marimbaphone

An orthodox Jew who was born in New York, a street musician travelling the roads of Europe and beyond, CEO of a small, but global company: Alex Jacobowitz. He is very familiar with European cities and their regulations: In Munich, Germany, you are supposed to collect your permit early in the morning; in Freiburg in the Black Forest you are not allowed to perform between noon and 4 pm – at least in theory; in Zurich, Switzerland, the tramway at Paradeplatz is rather noisy; in Ferrara, Italy, you must apply for the yearly Street Musicians Festival well ahead of time and only the best are selected. No problem for Alex. He is one of the world’s best Marimbaphone players with a classical music education and a recording contract with BMG. But rather than perform in Carnegie Hall, Alex and his wooden xylophone are drawn to the streets. Here he is his own boss, here he meets up to 20,000 people on a good day, here with his Broadway talent he can make people laugh and listen. He interprets music, written for ten fingers and the piano, with four sticks. Here, in the midst of the city’s din, Alex and his interpretations of Beethoven and Bach are an unexpected oasis for hordes of busy people. The callouses on his fingers testify to his hard work. But he is prospering. He has to – as a father of nine who all live in Tel Aviv. Besides Tel Aviv, he also resides in Munich and Berlin. What are the secrets of a successful street musician, how does a classical musician live, perform in the streets as a traditional Jew in Germany and an American in Europe, while entertaining his audience in seven languages?

The film accompanies Alex on his journey through Europe for one season. He is a cunning travel guide and knows the infrastructures of 300 European cities by heart - the reasonable hotels, the best parking lots, the most attractive cafés, Europe’s most tolerant policemen, and certainly all the Jewish grocery stores. We will discover the world from an unusual perspective, since one always finds the best stories in the streets. A film on several identities, the story of a real „Hero of The Street“.

More on Alex Jacobowitz here

Rerun

now online in the SWR mediathek

Produced by

SWR

A film by

Sigrid Faltin

Year

2012

Running time

30 min.

Team

  • cinematographer: Christian Zecha
  • sound: Michael Geisser
  • editing: Isabelle Allgeier
  • commissioning editor: Mechthild Rüther

„We produce documentary films - it's real life that interests us.“
Sigrid Faltin, white pepper films

Contact

Please fill out all fields.
Contact Info

white pepper Filmgesellschaft

+49 761 40 84 40

mail (at) whitepepper.de

Schlierbergstrasse 25A
79100 Freiburg
Germany