Treatment for “The Virtuoso” by Nadine Lavi

 "The Virtuoso", an original movie script by Nadine Lavi is about a remarkable man, her grandfather Alfred Schenker, whose passion found its highest expression in, and was sustained by, his love for the violin. It reveals his strength of character and his ability to outsmart the enemy in incredible life-or-death situations when he was personally hunted by the Nazis in war torn Lvov, Poland because of his fame. Strong, bold, quick witted, and resourceful, with an unconquerable spirit, and a will to survive in spite of everything, he also single handedly saved his family and friends time and again. In a tragic twist of Fate, he was powerless to save the one person who mattered most to him: the love of his life. With his indomitable spirit, he reaffirmed his will to live and reclaimed his rightful place on the world stage once more. His early days as a child prodigy of the violin, his early career, and his rise to the heights of fame in Europe, paints a glowing picture of a confident, secure, privileged Renaissance man, whose early experiences shaped him into the larger-than-life figure he became. The film begins with a "James Bond meets violinist" tone of action packed suspense. It segues from the virtuoso's command performance before the king and queen of Sweden in 1938 to a daring escape five years later, when he is hunted down by the Nazis in Lvov, Poland. He manages to get to a safe house, a cellar, where he is hidden by a kind Polish woman. There, he records the sequence of events that led to that moment in a secret diary partly to keep from going mad. This leads him to recall his early life and musical career. Trapped in the cellar with nine others, he finances their survival - paying for food when everyone else's money runs out - and keeps them calm, until he begins to slowly lose his grip on reality, culminating in a mad attempt to play the violin that nearly leads to everyone's discovery. Life in the cellar - tastes, smells, and sounds of tortures of people outside - taxes his self-control, but he takes refuge in his memories and in his joy of music. He composes two string quartets - which have never been performed (and will be heard for the first time in this film) by candlelight, and clings to the hope of being free and of being reunited with his family once more. When his baby daughter is brought to stay with him in the cellar for a time after his wife's capture, he experiences a betrayal when she doesn't even know him, but calls the man who has been looking after her on the outside, "Daddy." Sacrificing everything until there is nothing left to give, 40 lbs. thinner, starving, mentally strained to the breaking point, Alfred Schenker is liberated near the end of the war. Scarred but not broken, he returns to the music that is his lifeblood in a remarkable concert that same evening which ten thousand people attend, where they give him a standing ovation before he even plays a note of music.The incredible story of the remarkable figure of Alfred Schenker, virtuoso violinist, is celebrated in his life and in his music as an inspiring example of just how much the human spirit can endure, and overcome. This script is dedicated by Nadine Lavi to the memory of her grandfather, Alfred Schenker.


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