In present day Montreal, a famous "red violin," is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of "the red violin."
and had me intrigued till the end.
Won 2000 Oscar for best score.
Won 8 Genies including Best Picture
Won 9 Jutra Awards including Best Film
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THE RED VIOLIN follows the unusual journey of an original and unique violin as it survives three centuries, ultimately turning up at a present-day auction in Montreal. The violin transforms all those who play it into a Svengali, from traveling Gypsies to a famous concert violinist in England. The mysterious object also narrowly avoids confiscation in Communist China, and seems to always survive the different lives of those it touches. In the present day it becomes the subject of fascination for a violin historian, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who discovers that he has stumbled upon the much sought after Red Violin, leading him to consider a deception of his own kind as the film nears its climax. [Rotten Tomatoes]
Longer synopsis can be found in wikipedia (spoiler warning)