Four Minutes

Director: Chris Kraus


Schubert, Mozart, Chopin and a bunch of killers are all part of life for 80-year-old piano teacher Traude Kruger (Monica Bleibtreu, mother of Moritz Bleibtreu). Sour spinster Miss Kruger has been giving piano lessons in a women’s prison for many years, as if she herself was paying for some crime. She has never met an inmate like Jenny (Hannah Herzsprung), a young killer who beats everything around her to pulp. Traude at first refuses to take on the fiercely rebellious youngster as a pupil, but changes her mind when she hears Jenny play. As a child, Jenny was a musical prodigy and could easily take part in piano competitions outside of the prison if only she could be tamed.

The ensuing battle of wills between the self-destructive inmate and her strict, conservative teacher is played out as searing drama by director Chris Kraus, who drives his excellent actors to a frenzied climax in which Traude has only four minutes to prove her musical talent on stage.

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