Two Hands: The Leon Fleisher Story

Posted by Fabio 31 October 2013

Two Hands: The Leon Fleisher Story is a 2006 short documentary film directed by Nathaniel Kahn. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. It tells the story of the pianist Leon Fleisher. In 1964, Leon Fleisher’s career as a concert pianist was thriving. A seemingly minor accident – a cut on his right thumb – led to dystonia, the involuntary curling of his right hand’s ring and little fingers. In recent interviews, Fleisher talks about what followed: the end of a marriage, despair and disappointments, surgery in 1983 that led to a brief return to the concert hall, and, finally, with Botox and Rolfing, the ability to play with two hands. In between, Fleisher discovers his ecstasies: conducting, teaching, and playing compositions for one hand commissioned in the early twentieth century for a World War I veteran.