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They Came to Play (2008)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 106 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

Chronicles the Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation. Players from all over the world, ranging from self-taught to ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Henri Robert Delbeau ...
Mark Fuller ...
Clark Griffith ...
Ken Iisaka ...
Slava Levin ...
Drew Mays ...
Suzanna Perez ...
Richard Rodzinski ...
Esfir Ross ...
Kathy Trafton ...


Chronicles the Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation. Players from all over the world, ranging from self-taught to classically-trained, aged thirty-five to almost eighty, convene in Fort Worth, Texas for a week of intense competition, music and camaraderie. The film the film provides an intimate look into the lives of these colorful, multi-faceted competitors as they strive to balance the demands of work and family with their love of music. Years of dedicated preparation culminate in critical performances before a professional jury and discerning audience during three nerve-wracking elimination rounds. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Music



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25 October 2008 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A must-see documentary on adults reunited with their childhood dreams.
19 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"They came to play" is as uplifting as it is inspiring, as funny as it is touching. The movie establishes a personal and intimate relationship with its characters – unique personalities indeed. Its flawless change of perspective from the main characters, everyday individuals with real-life problems, and a passion to play the piano at the highest level, to their families, and the awed audience of the Van Cliburn Classical piano competition for Amateurs creates a perfect pace for this documentary and involves the movie audience in this incredible experience of fulfilling dreams in spite of life's many obstacles. For music lovers, the performances and musical choices are an exquisite treat. Without giving away the stories that this movie tells so piercingly, the choice of characters and participants is beautifully varied, and any viewers may find a little bit of themselves in these incredible individuals. Doubtlessly, this movie is an inspiration for those afflicted with a life-long love for music, regardless of where life has taken them. Beyond filling musical hearts with joy, however, this labor of love is so caringly crafted that it also warms the souls of non-musicians. The message is clear, whatever your background, whatever your interest, live your dream. Enrich your life at home, in your family, at work, and the lives of those around you, by tenaciously pursuing that passion that is uniquely you; like a true lover would.

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