There’s not enough space here to do justice to this stirring documentary, to speak to all the big questions it poses. At the beginning, the renowned cellist says, “I’m always trying to figure out who I am and where I fit into the world.” This is the story of a group that Ma formed in 2000 of 50 disparate musicians from all corners of the globe. Many come from hard, war-torn places. For all of them, music has been the palliative. For all, music has prompted questions about culture and roots, separateness and togetherness, and the power of the human spirit, and of music to move it.

“Can a piece of music stop a bullet … or feed a person who is hungry?” someone asks, as a clarinet soars clean and clear over Damascus bombings. By the end, we feel that it is—that, amid this extraordinarily beautiful melding of peoples and sound, xenophobia must crumble. “There is no East and West. It’s just a globe,” says Wu Man, the world’s premier pipa player (Chinese lute) from Hangzhou, who, like Ma, believes that creativity lives at the intersection of cultures.

“I’m Yo-Yo Ma,” the Chinese-American born in Paris says to an audience as he clutches the hand of an Iranian kamancheh player. “And this is my brother.”
Should You See It? Yes.