Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
Ostensibly this film is the tale of Benjamin Fleischmann, a talented protégé of Soviet composer Shostakovich whose attempts to compose a 40-minute opera during the late '30s are thwarted by the political atmosphere of his time. This almost docudrama also paints a vivid portrait of the master composer who rescued the minor work after the idealistic Fleischmann, outraged that the Soviets were doing nothing to help save Polish Jews from the torments of German invaders, abandons it to join the fight against the Nazis in Poland. During the ensuing Siege of Leningrad, Fleischmann disappeared. Later Shostakovich found his manuscript and prepared it for performance.