In the summer of 1914, thirteen-year-old Oda von Siering (Paula Beer) leaves Berlin to join her family and an assortment of German and Russian aristocrats on an estate in Estonia. The von ... See full summary »
On 24th August 1992 in the eastern German city of Rostock a rampaging mob, to the applause and cheering of more than 3,000 bystanders, besieged and set fire to a residential building ... See full summary »
After many dark years of depression Luca seeks to gain her high school diploma. Her little dog Mata helps her to find motivation and keep a positive attitude towards life. To ensure that ... See full summary »
Julia is a 35-year-old English Literature teacher struggling with depression as she tries to get her life back together again after her long, intense love affair with Antonia. Feeling ... See full summary »
Malu De Martino
Ana Paula Arósio,
Terrance Foster is a schoolteacher whose priority is to be the dad his father, Carl never was. He allows his freeloading ex-wife, of two years, to continue living with him for the sake of ... See full summary »
Gregory Alan Williams
Janne's new boss's brother-in-law rapes her, but she doesn't report the incident and continues her way of life as usual. But her silence has consequences, not only for her but also for the love that she feels for her friend Piet.
Fine suffers from not being seen but she also does her best at not being noticed, even though she is an acting student. At night, when her mentally handicapped sister Jule cannot get to ... See full summary »
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
The women's prison in Germany in which this film is set is a place of bullying and beatings, of despair and suicide, of boredom, football and ping-pong. In these grim surroundings an elderly visiting piano teacher collides with a wild inmate serving a life sentence for murder and harbouring an extraordinary talent for piano. Traude and Jenny are polarised personalities from the moment that they meet; again and again their differences boil up and threaten Jenny's entry into a young pianist competition. Their path is troubled further by the hostility of prison inmates and staff alike, including Kowalski, an emasculated prison guard played by Richy Muller, and the reappearance of Jenny's father, which dredges up terrible memories.
Through confrontation of demons past and present, both Traude and Jenny begin to delve into the other's background, revealing the reality beyond the ossified teacher and the abominable student. Traude's history is illuminated through flashbacks to the Second World War, but although these scenes are well choreographed and filmed, they fit awkwardly at best into the main narrative and encroach upon a sterling performance by Monica Bleidbtrau. The details of Jenny's life are left scarce and tantalising, which plays to Hannah Herzsprung's performance, by turns angry and beautiful, scary and charming.
This film is graced by some excellent pieces of classical music, at least from my standpoint as a layperson in the classical music world. The musical and dramatic highlight comes at the film's climax the Four Minutes of the film's title, which features a stunningly original composition, encapsulating the turmoil of the previous two hours and leaving a vivid and lasting impression.
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