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In 1979, violin virtuoso Isaac Stern embarked on a goodwill tour of Red China. Filmmaker Murray Lerner went along for the ride, and the end result was the unforgettable feature-length documentary From Mao to Mozart. The best scenes involve Stern's tutoring and coaching of gifted Chinese students, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music director Tan Shuzhen's recollections of his travails in the less enlightened China of the 1960s. The film is extremely well balanced, treating Eastern and Western musical culture with equal respect and (sometimes) awe. From Mao to Mozart won the 1981 "best documentary" Academy Award.
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