Four Minutes
Vier Minuten

DIRECTOR: Chris Kraus

“I only care about music,” snaps Frau Traude Krüger (a pitch perfect Monica Bleibtreu), the withered piano teacher at a women’s prison. Forced by Nazis to betray her dissident lover in order to preserve her own musical career, Traude has been imprisoned by remorse for decades. Jenny von Loeben is a convicted killer whose explosive will ignites Traude’s longing to redeem and be redeemed. Though generations apart, together these two women seek a way out of their lockdown lives through an uneasy alliance built around music.
Traude initially refuses to give insolent Jenny a piano lesson, causing the enraged young inmate to erupt at the slight. She attacks a warden then unleashes her ferocious soul on the piano keys, shaking up Traude with her wild passion and tremendous talent. With renewed purpose, Traude obsessively grooms the former prodigy to win a prestigious piano competition. It’s a battle of wills as Jenny pursues her own instinctual musical voice, while her teacher demands she adhere to proper classical form.
As secrets are revealed, true intimacy grows beyond cynical manipulation. No longer willing to choose between artistic ambition and personal expression, self-preservation and human connection, Jenny and Traude have one chance at liberation on their own terms. — CAROL HARADA

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