In Germany, the elder Frau Traude Krueger gives piano classes in a prison for a few prisoners and the security guard Mütze. When she sees the rebel and aggressive Jenny Von Loeben playing piano, she immediately identifies her potential and offers to teach her for a competition. Frau Krueger finds that Jenny was a prodigy when she was a child; abused when she was a teenager and has been imprisoned for murdering and decapitating a man. Along the period they work together preparing for the exhibition, Frau Krueger discloses secrets about her love in World War II while the self-destructive Jenny has four minutes of glory and recognition of her talent.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When student Jenny is at Frau Krüger's (b. 1926) home, a picture of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and one of Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954) can be seen on the wall above the piano. Earlier, we see a picture of Furtwängler when the young Krüger is being coerced by a member of the Nazi party to rebuke her friendship with her then student (circa 1944). See more »
In several sequences where we see Jenny playing the piano, the notes we hear do not correspond to the keys she plays. See more »
An elderly spinster piano teacher in a womens prison,Mrs.Kruger, takes one of the inmates,Jenny,under her wing.The teacher loves music but can't connect with people.Jenny is young and absolutely gifted,but hates playing because it brings back a personal trauma from her past.The teacher tries to teach the student about respect,whilst the student reminds the teacher what it's like to be young and emotional.
There are sub plots concerning both of their respective past personal lives but basically,it is just about two characters from vastly different generations and backgrounds who form an uneasy alliance in a harsh environment,and both of them benefit from the experience.
Keep a box of tissues handy because the film is an emotional roller-coaster.I have no doubt that if they remade this in Hollywood with A-list stars, (which they probably eventually will),that it would clean up at the Oscars.But I guarantee that it would not be as good as this movie.
Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) is actually about 110 minutes,and pretty much every one of them is worthy.A must see movie.
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