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FOUR MINUTES: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Former pianist Traude Krüger (Monica Bleibtreu) has been driving to the same women's prison at Luckau almost every morning since 1944. She teaches her female students - thieves, frauds and killers - how to play the piano. Like the volatile young convicted murderer, Jenny (Hannah Herzsprung), whose short life is already filled with trauma, abuse and loss. When the 80-year-old piano teacher discovers the girl's secret, her brutality and her dreams, she decides to transform her pupil into the musical wunderkind she once was, defying Jenny's violent temper - not always with success. Besides, Traude has secrets of her own ....

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A screenplay rich with layers and tangible characters, a unique scenario, powerful performances and gripping direction all combine to make Four Minutes an outstanding drama - despite its confronting nature, largely unsympathetic characters and sombre mood. Helping to create tension is the depth of contrast between the lead characters - Traude, an old piano teacher whose love of the classics blinds her to the freedoms of what she calls 'negro' music which Jenny is drawn to. Here is Traude's emotional prison symbolised through music, her age old guilt and Jenny's incarceration holding a tug of war that escalates as revelations seep out. Yet that contrast is a chance to build a bridge - one that we ache to see built. Of course, the film is full of contrasts, each adding to the richness of the film.

Traude's one giant act of betrayal helps slowly to unveil the motivations that guide her, while Jenny's fury at a world that's abused her is like a firestorm that threatens to destroy not only Jenny herself but Traude, too. The frictions within the women's prison and the glimpses into the system's dysfunctional decision making also help to create a state of tension throughout, as our hearts and minds see saw between sympathy and disapproval, between judgement and forgiveness.

Beautifully judged handling of this explosive material puts writer/director Chris Kraus in the major league of filmmakers and his cast deserve every accolade for their astonishing work.

DVD special features include Hannah Herzsprung interview and original trailer.

Published March 13, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FOUR MINUTES: DVD (MA15+)
(Germany, 2006)

Vier Minuten

CAST: Monica Bleibtreu, Hannah Herzsprung, Sven Pippig, Richy Muller, Jasmine Tabatabai, Stefan Kurt, Vadim Glowna, Nadja Uhl

PRODUCER: Alexandra Kordes, Meike Kordes,

DIRECTOR: Chris Kraus

SCRIPT: Chris Kraus

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Judith Kaufmann

EDITOR: Uta Schmidt

MUSIC: Annette Focks

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Silke Buhr

RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 28, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: 4 minutes[BREAK]Australian exclusive interview with Hannah Herzsprung[BREAK]AT THE MOVIES interview with Hannah Herzsprung[BREAK]Original theatrical trailer[BREAK]Dolby(r) Digital 5.1 surround sound

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

DVD RELEASE: March 12, 2008







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