- Directed by Chris Kraus
- Wolfe Video
- 112 Minutes
- German with English subtitles
A Riveting Prison Drama
It took much less than four minutes for this film to grab my attention. What a riveting drama! (And a lesbian prison one, no less. I sense a pattern here, Affinity
? Bad Girls
?) And how it held me to the very end.
Traude Krüger has taught piano at the prison for nearly sixty years. The path that led her there is an equally fascinating story. Her passion is her music—what has sustained her through hardship and heartache. If only the warden felt that her role and talent were as vital. When she encounters Jenny von Loeben, a truly gifted artist yet a deeply troubled and violent young woman, Mrs. Krüger struggles with how best to motivate this student, to challenge her indifference, to inspire in her a will to live and to perform in the contest of a lifetime.
An Impossible Relationship
Both Mrs. Krüger and Jenny have weathered too many of life’s trials, the pain worn on their bodies, etched in wrinkled skin, bloody fingers. Both have suffered loss of love— Mrs. Krüger’s lesbian lover, Jenny’s newborn child. Piano lessons facilitate their bond, further their growing, hesitant intimacy. Can they trust one another to accomplish a shared success? Can they achieve a triumphant, momentary grace, however small and short lived?
Award Winning Performances
It’s no wonder that Four Minutes has garnered so many accolades and so much attention, over twenty awards, including the Lola Award (Germany’s equivalent to the Oscar) for Best Picture. The actresses were simply outstanding in their portrayals, in their intricately nuanced and layered dynamic, in how each so beautifully captivated the screen. I look forward to future roles and, hopefully, further collaboration.
See This Film!
My Rating: 5 stars. See this film! Though be warned of its powerful, at times disturbing content. It’s a revelation and leaves me lingering in questions about mortality, memory, messengers, and the pursuit of dreams.