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Piano to Zanskar

Michal Sulima

Piano to Zanskar is an award-winning British documentary film which tells the story of Desmond O'Keeffe, also known as Mr Gentle, a 65-year old piano tuner who embarks on an impossible mission.

“…the ultimate gesture of music’s universal power”

Facing his future in retirement, "sitting in deck chairs and eating lemon drizzle cake", Desmond decides instead to take on the most challenging and perilous delivery of his four decade career: transporting a 100 year-old, 80 kilo, Broadwood & Sons upright piano, from bustling London to the remote heart of the Indian Himalayas. 

Setting off from his busy workshop in Camden Town, and enlisting the help of two young and eager apprentices, Desmond’s ambitious destination is a primary school in Lingshed, Zanskar. At 14,000 feet above sea level, it is one of the most isolated settlements in the world. 

Aided by a team of local Sherpas, as well as a motley crew of yaks and ponies, Desmond and his trusty assistants are tested to the limit, physically and psychologically, as they cross sheer mountain passes of breath-taking beauty. If successful, the expedition will be the highest piano delivery in the world. More importantly, it will be the ultimate gesture of music’s universal power: to inspire strength and bring joy.