Francois Girard directed this drama tracing the history of a musical instrument through five countries and three centuries. In 1681, to keep the spirit of his wife alive, an Italian paints the violin with a red varnish made from her blood. It is later found in the Austrian Alps when a prodigy gives a performance in the court of Vienna in 1792. Taken by gypsies, the instrument is acquired by a Dionysian composer. After a journey by boat to China in 1966, it is hidden during the Cultural Revolution. In contemporary Canada, it is spotted at an auction house by a violin expert (Samuel L. Jackson) who becomes obsessed with it. Scripted by Girard and Don McKellar. Filmed on a $10 million budget in Montreal, China, Italy, Austria, and Oxford.