WHERE HANDS TOUCH is a British war drama that was premiered at the Toronto film festival on September 9th, 2018 and has since been screened in selected cinemas in the USA. The movie which is set in 1944 tells a story of a bi-racial teenager who is struggling to survive in Nazi Germany and of her love for a young man who is a member of the Hitler Youth. Directed by Amma Asante the former actress turned screen writer and filmmaker, the films cast includes Christopher Eccleston, Amandla Stenberg, George McKay, Abbie Cornish and Tom Sweet. The moving musical score is by composer Anne Chmelewsky, who’s past works for TV and cinema include, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated DEREK which was directed by Rick Gervais for Channel 4 and Netflix. She also scored DO WE BELONG and AN ACT OF WORSHIP for director Sofia Khan and as well as writing for the screen she has composed Opera’s and written for theatrical productions. Her third opera PYGMALION 2.0’ was developed with the support of the PRS foundation and is currently being performed in the United Kingdom. The music for WHERE HANDS TOUCH is a rather subdued work for most of its duration, the composer purveying various moods and atmospheres utilising piano, strings and solo performances on cello and violin.
This is an affecting work that is filled with emotion and underlined by a fragile and delicate foundation on which the composer builds her compositions. The slight but tantalising melodies drifting throughout the work at times being elusively haunting and fleeting. The music is so soft and gentle that it has more of an impact within the storyline of the movie. The composer at times creating small clusters of swelling strings that ooze emotive and melancholy qualities and seem to build out of nowhere to bring heartrending crescendos of sorts to the surface, the themeatic content of the score is stunning and the composer fashions lilting, lush and highly emotional musical poems throughout. It is a score that I found wonderfully fulfilling and one that I did return to a few times after my initial listen. Certainly, worth checking out.