Project | 'Moto Perpetuo'

Synopsis and Treatment

A documentary film, live performance and museum installation featuring three violinists; one of Jewish descent, one Palestinian and the third one with Gypsy roots. The project aims to get these musicians to perform 'Moto Perpetuo' (Perpetual Motion), composed by 18th-century violinist Niccolò Paganini, and play it on the priceless 'Lauterbach Stradivarius' violin that recently resurfaced in Paris after the Nazis looted it from a Polish museum during World War II. 

Although the story starts with a Jew, an Arab and a Gypsy, it is far from an old-fashioned stereotypical joke. My work as an international current-affairs cameraman has brought me all over the globe. I visited Israelis, Palestinians, Manouche and Sinti. I witnessed their pain, anger and fears as I have witnessed the pain, anger and fears of many other minorities, majorities, races, nationalities, clans, spiritual movements and all sorts of communities that give an individual a sense of identity and belonging.


Unfortunately, this same sense of identity and belonging often comes with the need for an enemy, a scapegoat, an antagonist.


When I started my career as a cameraman, I firmly believed that my images could help make the world a better place. I was positive that if I risked my life to show the horrors that happen far away, citizens, politicians and activists in my home country would stand up and do something about it. After twenty years of wandering the planet and the current dreadful situation in the world, I started to notice that the change I eventually hoped for did not come. Instead, the direction we currently seem to be heading as a human race is the direction we swore never to ever go again after World War II.


I see people loving wrong leaders and hating innocent neighbours again. I witness division, uncertainty, doubt, grief, trauma, and fear. These emotions paralyse our self-critical and mature problem-solving ability and often lead us to believe we are victims. Victims of capitalism, victims of illegal migration, victims of mischievous crooks and thieves. Victims of Jews, Arabs and Gypsies.

Eugeniusz Zak, Boy with Violin

This story is far from an old-fashioned stereotypical joke. This story is about a horrible history repeating itself over and over again. This story is about a perpetual motion that desperately needs to find a new direction.

Pedro Américo. Arab fiddler

Project | 'Moto Perpetuo'

Mission and vision

Project ‘Moto Perpetuo’ should, in my opinion, as an artist and filmmaker, speak about the differences that unite us as humans. Where do our fears erupt? Why do we fight if we want peace? Why do we blame others for perceived injustices?


I want to ask these questions to the three protagonists of the film. I want to hear their story. I want to ask them about being innocent victims. I want to ask them about being guilty of aggression. 


I want to witness how hard it is to get these three violinists together on neutral ground and play a priceless instrument firmly rooted in Jewish, Arabic and Gypsy traditions. 


The violin is renowned as the ultimate musical instrument to evoke passion and melancholy. The Stradivari violin is a pinnacle of craftsmanship and acoustic excellence.

I wonder if the violinists can rewrite 'Moto Perpetuo'. I wonder if music can bring peace. 

Project | 'Moto Perpetuo'

About the maker

Alexander Koning – France 1978 – After finishing the Academy of Visual Arts in Maastricht – The Netherlands, in 2002, I have been a cameraman for current affairs programs on Dutch national television. I have extensively covered wars in the Middle East and the Refugee crisis. In twenty years, I have visited over fifty countries next to my painting, writing and independent filmmaking.


After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the various populist movements that have been on the rise worldwide, and the devastating effects misinformation had on the intellectual debate, journalism, to me, no longer qualifies as an effective remedy for the crises we face.

Reporting from Gaza 2009

I deliberately stopped following the news in July 2022, cancelling my subscriptions to six newspapers and magazines to concentrate solely on visual arts, music and film. These tools, to me, seem far more efficient in provoking self-reflection and peace in these challenging times.