Shorts Spotlight: ‘Broken Orchestra’


By Pat Mullen

Catch the latest short doc from Charlie Tyrell, the director of this year’s Canadian Screen Award winner My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes. His new doc, Broken Orchestra is another ingeniously inventive play on film form as it tells the story of the Symphony for a Broken Orchestra project in Philadelphia. Tyrell’s camera roams through the halls of a vacant high school as old TVs on carts offer excerpts of interviews with teachers, students, and community peers who tell of Philadelphia’s impoverished education system and the abundance of broken instruments that littered the music classes across the city.

In an effort to fix some broken notes, the participants tell how they created an orchestra out of all these seemingly worthless instruments. As Tyrell tours the school, taking in instruments and peppering the film with notes of animation, the film gives audiences a taste of the music the orchestra created. It’s haunting, yet beautiful.

Watch Broken Orchestra below:


Broken Orchestra from Topic on Vimeo.