The film tells the story of a highly-gifted boy whose parents have demanding and ambitious plans for him - they want him to become a pianist. However, one day the boy, Vitus, is no longer willing to comply with his parents' plans and ambitions because he wants to follow his own star. Written by
We just saw Vitus at the San Francisco International Film Festival, with an audience that packed in the theatre and gave the director a round of applause at the end. In the context of Fredi Murer's career, this film address themes that he explored in earlier works such as Alpine Fire and Full Moon, but here with a lighter, less moralistic tone. Murer clearly has a great rapport with children and brings out a credible performance from the nonprofessional actor (but real-life musical virtuoso) Teo Gheorghiu -- especially considering that so much of the film rests on this young pianist's shoulders. Bruno Ganz, whom English-speaking audiences rarely get to hear performing in his own Zurich dialect, unsentimentally embodies the traditional Swiss values that are disappearing under a wave of American-style materialism and yuppie anxiety.
Parents, take your young geniuses to see this film, and take its humane message of love, self-recognition and forgiveness to heart.
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