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 »
Brilliant Relationship Drama and 4 minutes you will not forget.
Really excellent film - the two leading ladies give stella performance as an elderly piano teacher (with some interesting secrets left over from German war times) and as a young, brilliant, but disturbed, pianist.
The backdrop of a women's prison and its local dramas and characters is a fascinating stage as their relationship develops their pasts come influence their actions and trust is built. (And no, it is not one of those touchy, feely Hollywood set-ups, this has real depth).
The "4 minutes" the title refers to, is a film sequence which I personally found incredible, I still get gooseflesh down my back when I think back to it. The audience in the cinema I saw it spontaneously burst in to applause at the end of the 4 minutes.
All in all a thoroughly worthwhile film, although there is quite a bit of German history, some knowledge of this would be of use and I am not sure how it would translate from the original German. Some excellent comedy intersperses the intensity of the drama but all credit must go to the main actors. Really good go see it..
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