Let Yourself Go – The Lives of Fred Hersch

´106 , publis­hed on DVD, in Co-Pro­duc­tion with Aha! DVD, 2008

The New Yor­ker Jazz Pia­nist Fred Hersch is one of the grea­test pia­nists and com­po­sers of con­tem­pora­ry Jazz. His musi­cal work is remar­kab­le and so is his way of life. Fred Hersch, has been HIV posi­ti­ve sin­ce the ear­ly 80ties. His dise­a­se pro­gres­sed to  AIDS. He was one of the first Jazz musi­ci­ans who publicly came out  as gay . Well-humou­red and open, he speaks about his life with AIDS, his care­er with all  its ups and downs, and about his music – the vital for­ce that empowers him to live with his  illness.
Filmma­ker Kat­ja Dureg­ger has fol­lo­wed Fred Hersch over a peri­od of two years, from 2006–2008. She shot  much of the mate­ri­al by herself, which enab­led her to pro­du­ce a very inti­ma­te and moving  por­trait of this excep­tio­nal musician.

The DVD “Let Yourself Go – The Lives of Fred Hersch” offers four docu­men­ta­ries, each of  them describ­ing a dif­fe­rent aspect of Fred Hersch´s life. Excerp­ts from his live con­certs  allow the music to speak for itself.

With: Scott Mor­gan, Hank Hersch, Sophia Rosoff, Nor­ma Win­stone, Micha­el Mac Donald,  Charles Ham­len, Nas­heet Waits, John Hébert, Chris­to­pher O´Riley.


23rd Lon­don Les­bi­an and Gay Film Fes­ti­val, 2009, Lon­don, UK
Cin­est­rat 09 – III Fes­ti­val de Cine Docu­men­tal, 2009, Ali­can­te, Spain
24th Tori­no LGBT Fes­ti­val 2009, Turin, Italy
Flo­rence Queer Fes­ti­val 2011, Flo­rence, Italy


Screenplay/Director: Kat­ja Duregger
Co-autor: Vol­ker Gehrke
Direc­tor of Photography: Kat­ja Dureg­ger, Tho­mas Kutsch­ker, Melin­da Hunt
Sound: Chris­ti­an Krämer
Film edi­t­ing: Vol­ker Gehrke
Sound­de­sign: Dirk Fran­ken, Vol­ker Gehrke
Speaker/German: Ike Boh­lig, Jür­gen Kolenda
Speaker/English: Jen­ni­fer Jones
Dra­ma­tur­gi­cal Advice: Mika Kall­wass
Pic­tu­re Research: Susann Popra­wa
Trans­la­ti­on: Danie­la Ber­ger-Huza, Chris­toph Bausum

With kind sup­port of: Film­stif­tung NRW
Clas­si­cal Action – Per­forming Arts against AID

Fotos with kind per­mis­si­on of: Gay Cen­ter New York
Fred Hersch
Hank Hersch
Micha­el Mac Donald

Music: Fred Hersch, Composer:

Songs: At the Clo­se of the Day
Poem in A Cloud
End­less Stars
Gravity´s Pull
A Lark
Black Dog Pays a Visit

Addi­tio­nal: Con­cert in C‑major for two pia­nos, Johann Sebas­ti­an Bach
The water is wide, traditional

Pro­duc­tion: Aha!DVD / Vol­ker Gehr­ke and Kat­ja Duregger
Copy­right: Kat­ja Dureg­ger, Aha!DVD/ Vol­ker Gehr­ke 2008