Melissa Pierson
April 18, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Small Wonders

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
G
runtime
77 minutes
director
Allan Miller
distributor
Miramax
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A-

Violin teacher Roberta Tzavaras believes music is not so much an accompaniment to life as it is life itself. Her theory is proved by the young public school students in her East Harlem violin program. Hardly prodigies — they’re not even particularly musical — they flourish under her strict, respectful tutelage. As they progress from ”Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to Bach, their sense of happy accomplishment becomes an irrefutable argument for retaining arts education in the face of budget cuts. Allan Miller’s unadorned documentary, Small Wonders, may not be the prettiest thing you could put on your TV, since he shot it on videotape in purely hit-and-run style. Still, it’s no less inspirational for its plainness. A-

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