Plucked

The Joel Van Haren Documentary “Plucked” receives its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday April 28. “Plucked” tells the story of a stolen Stradivarius violin, its half-competent crooks, Milwaukee’s finest, who had no idea what a Stradivarius looked like (or why it was worth millions of dollars), and the violin and violinist that both lived to play another day.

Stradivarius violins are some of the most sought after and valuable instruments in the world. With instruments from the violin maker’s golden period of 1700 to 1725, it is a rare honor to set eyes, or hands, on one. The classical music world was shaken and horrified in January 2014, when Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Frank Almond was attacked and robbed of the 1715 “Lipinski” Stradivarius violin, but the Milwaukee Police Department and the FBI quickly jumped into action, trying to beat the clock before the instrument disappeared forever.

It didn’t take long to find those behind the theft. They had a plan, or more accurately, half a plan.

“There was something dangerous and almost deranged about it, the kind of crime Abbott and Costello might plan, after consultation with Cheech and Chong and Martin and Lewis. There were also repercussions that could have been catastrophic far beyond the fate of a multi-million-dollar violin.” (Buzz Bissinger, Vanity Fair)

Ultimately, it was what Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn called the “dimwit” factor that resolved a theft riddled with both tragic and comic elements.

Joel Van Haren is an award-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated cinematographer making his directorial debut with “Plucked.” In this multi-layered story, Van Haren shows the immense cultural and historical value of these instruments, and how easily they could disappear and be lost forever.

“Plucked” also follows an international band of law enforcement authorities as they fight against the clock and try to save a multimillion-dollar violin that is unlike any musical instrument in the world.

“Plucked” receives its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 28th at 3:15 pm, with additional screenings through the week of May 5th.

Visit PluckedFilm.com