There is a sort of perfect magnificence that reduces all of us to longing for flawlessness. “The Red Violin” is about that longing. It follows the narrative of a violin (“the absolute best acoustical machine I’ve ever observed,” says a restorer) from its producer in seventeenth century Italy to a sale room in present day Montreal. The violin goes from the rich to poor people, from Italy to Poland to England to China to Canada.
It is shot, covered, practically consumed and stolen more than once. It produces music so lovely that it makes you need to cry.