No-one has done more for the cello than Mstislav Rostropovich, or Slava as he was widely known. As well as being arguably the greatest cellist of the twentieth century, he expanded and enriched the cello repertoire by the sheer force of his artistry and his personality and composers lined up to write works for him.
In this film by John Bridcut, friends, family and former pupils explore the unique talents of this great Russian artist, and listen to and watch him making music. Contributors include his widow Galina Vishnevskaya and their daughters Olga and Elena; the eminent conductors Seiji Ozawa and Gennadi Rozhdestvensky; and cellists who attended his famous classes in Moscow, including Natalya Gutman, Mischa Maisky, Moray Welsh, Elizabeth Wilson and Karine Georgian.
The film traces the development of Rostropovich's international career amid the political tensions of the final years of the Soviet Union.