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ReelEarth: An American Composer in the Czech Republic

Posted on 1/15/2019 12:00:00 AM in What We're Watching

A note from independent filmmaker David Conover on why he chose this film:

After two decades, how has an American expat fit into a tiny Czech community? The village of Oleška is tucked into the rolling landscape 30 miles east of Prague—an unlikely place to find an accomplished American jazz guitarist. But Tony Ackerman calls it home. Inspired by childhood stories from his Czech wife—and drawn by a teaching fellowship—the pair initially settled here for one year. They never left. In this film from the ReelEarth collection, Czech filmmaker Marian Švejda introduces Tony as a musician, a composer, a professor, and the village choir conductor. Tony’s fingers improvise melodies. His brow furrows while composing. His university students beam as he performs. In each role, Tony’s joy for his craft and for sharing it with people is palpable and contagious. We’ve all seen how music transcends culture and language. The surprise of this story is in its detail of how one American went on a trip—and then made the destination his home. A highly encouraged film, whether you’re a fan of music, a teacher, a traveler … or all three!

Directed by Marian Svejda

About David Conover:

David Conover, a long-term partner of O.A.T. and Grand Circle, is an award-winning filmmaker and conservationist whose work has appeared on Discovery Channel, PBS, and National Geographic Explorer. He is the founder of Compass Light Productions and the nonprofit Conservation Media Group, and was recently the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin College. Learn more about David here.

Meet locals like Tony when you join O.A.T.’s Jewels of Bohemia: Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary adventure.

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ReelEarth: An American Composer in the Czech Republic

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