Luciano Pavarotti documentary – My View by Robyn Sassen


Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years.
Robyn Sassen


GOLDEN voice: the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Photograph courtesy

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THE TRUTH IS a strange thing in the film industry. All too often the disclaimer that a piece is ‘based on the unbelievable but true story’ is used in the marketing junket. Does it really matter? Does it work? Do people flock more to see a film that offers a semblance of veracity than one that is a pure figment of a writer’s imagination? One thing is for sure: when you see Ron Howard’s documentary on Luciano Pavarotti, you will never again settle for the fictional biography of anyone.  No matter how much fact it promises you. This is the real thing.

Even if you are not a Pavarotti fan, you will be seduced by this intensely well researched and beautifully constructed foray into the life of this imminently popular tenor. It’s replete with popular culture heroes, from conductor Zubin Mehta to Princess Di, Nelson Mandela to Bono. There is footage of Pavarotti’s wives and children and parents. He…

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