The Eulogy

This consistently engrossing documentary is extremely elegantly structured as a mystery: why did Australia’s finest concert pianist die in destitution, alone, young? Framing the investigation is the eulogy given for the magnificently talented departed by the ex-Prime Minister Of Australia Paul Keating, who used the somber occasion to lambast the country’s two most prominent symphony orchestras for not employing the prodigy enough, and, in a way, blaming them for his death.

The pianist in question is Geoffrey Tozer, and if you don’t know much about him, or haven’t heard of him at all, that only goes to support the film’s thesis. You’ll certainly know him by the end of the movie, which reveals its many secrets with the expert timing of an Agatha Christie.

In lieu of Hercule Poirot, we have Richard Gill, a marvellous music teacher and conductor who looks like Jim Broadbent and investigates the mystery with the dogged determination of a classical Colombo. He gives this sometimes sad, sometimes joyous detective story a narrative spine and a lot of heart. Highly recommended.

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