Reviewed by Rama Gaind.
Director: Hannes Michael Schalle, Defiant Screen Entertainment.
It’s long overdue, but the time is almost here, a time to be in a joyful mood. The festive season is almost upon us and our thoughts turn to a popular Christmas carol. Silent Night is a simple song about peace and hope that’s in everyone’s DNA. It belongs to mankind.
“Silent night, holy night
All is calm and all is bright…”
Silent Night: A Song For The World is a musical documentary about the creation and success of the world’s most famous Christmas carol. Narrated by Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), the remarkable story of Silent Night is brought to life with incredible performances by such stars as Kelly Clarkson, Joss Stone, The Tenors, David Foster, The Vienna Boys Choir, Josh Groban, John Rhys-Davies, Rolando Villazón, as well as, Anggun (Indonesia), Ailee (Korea) and Lina Mackoul (Israel). They share their personal Christmas experiences in their home towns and perform Silent Night in various languages.
Austrian priest Joseph Mohr penned the lyrics and organist Franz Gruber composed a simple melody for a guitar accompaniment in Salzburg, Austria, in 1818, in the bitter aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars.
Silent Night has spread across the globe to become one of the world’s most beloved melodies, traversing religious divides and loved in over 300 languages. Bing Crosby’s 1935 recording is still the third best-selling music single of all time.
In 2011, UNESCO declared Silent Night as an intangible cultural national heritage.
Silent Night caused a Christmas ceasefire during World War I. German and British troops sang together on Christmas Eve. This led to the legendary Christmas truce of 1914.
The film’s creator and director Hannes M. Schalle said: “As a composer and filmmaker living in Salzburg, it was clear that I wanted to tell the incredible story of how the song was created in 1818 and how it became the world’s most performed Christmas carol – in films and music.”
A song that transcends time and place for over 200 years, Silent Night – translated into 140 languages – is indeed, a song for the world!
When and where was Silent Night composed? If you’re answer is correct, then you could win one of three DVDs of this famous Christmas carol. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 29 November 2021. Names of the winners will be announced in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 30 November 2021.