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OH, IT HERTZ!

Gunnar Hall Jensen / Norway / 2021 / 90 min / World Premiere
A musicologist investigates the link between Nazi manipulation and all the music we listen to today. Does the obscure theory hold true?

Why did the Nazis change the standard frequency of the tone A from 432 to 440 Hertz? A curious historical footnote turns out to have the most unexpected ramifications, as long as you approach it with an open mind. And that is exactly what Norwegian documentary veteran Gunnar Hall Jensen does, as he investigates the strange theory in the company of musicologist and singer Laurie Amat. Sound is both information and emotions – precisely what the Nazis dreamed of controlling. They imagined that their new tone standards would make the masses aggressive and easy to manipulate. Today, 440 Hz is the standard for all music we listen to. What sounds like an absurd joke at first turns out to be something more in a film that follows the vibrations in an open (and musical!) form. Encounters with international music psychologists and sound experts unravel the strange micro-history in an epic format. One thing is certain: you will never listen to the world around you with the same ears again.