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on 5 September 2010
This is a deeply poignant and moving story of anger, injustice, guilt, determination, strength, courage and love. The fury of wronged youth clashes with the guilt and ostensible righteousness of old age - but it also slowly develops into something very touching as we see the young female prisoner and the elderly music teacher grow ever closer as they get to know one another's feelings, secrets and histories. Do not bother if you like fast cars and Hollywood glamour; this is a film about humans, emotions, and life, for those who like cinema on a deeper level.
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on 12 November 2011
This psychological drama/thriller and in-depth study of character set in a German prison for women, tells a gripping story about a wrongfully imprisoned young woman with a hidden musical talent who is discovered by a piano teacher.

"Vier Minuten" is engagingly and acutely directed by Chris Kraus who also wrote this detailed and awe-inspiring story about a profound relationship between two women from different generations. Hannah Herzsprung is impressively good in her extrovert lead performance which is matched by the far more experienced actress Monica Bleibtreu`s introvert performance in a film where the music increases it`s emotional impact and moods, and is as crucial as an instrument for conveying the story as the dialog, the setting, the visuals and the narrative. Highly regarded and highly recommended!
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on 23 March 2009
Very German preoccupations with Nazi history, hidden and/or repressed emotions and guilt underlie this story, which ostensibly deals with a talented person coming good. Nothing is as it first appears though, and the steady unpealing of facts about and layers of the two main characters - the prison teacher, and her interaction with the pianist, is as important to the narrative as the pianist herself - holds you riveted to the screen right to the end. And, to my mind, the ending makes the whole of this intelligent, compelling film worthwhile.
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on 23 March 2015
A tremendously entertaining film well put together with great acting by the two women protagonists in particular. Well worth a watch even if it is a little messy towards the end though even that contains a brilliant rebellious incident which I will not reveal and spoil. I will watch it again!
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on 27 February 2016
Recommended by Sir David Putnam . Very intense and not always easy to watch - the story of a troubled, abused, highly talented pianist in an institution in Germany, who has lessons with an aging piano teacher who has a troubled back-story of her own. It's about the redemptive power of music, the strength of the human spirit against the odds, and the unlikely friendship that develops between these two equally tormented musicians. I will watch this again one day.
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on 1 January 2016
In German - for those with an interest - but not really family viewing - a story about the sometimes brutal life in a prison. Some of the inmates are seriously disturbed. Some will never escape their past. Worth watching once.
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on 5 September 2011
After a rather cheap begining in which I nearly turned this movie off I then really got into this story . It is not just another prison bad girls type of story. The relationship between the older and younger women is extremely moving . Definately a memorable film.
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on 19 August 2014
I enjoyed this film a great deal because it was in German and a great opportunity to attempt to understand it without the sub titles; however, the graphic violence was a little too much. It was exciting, but extreme. It was also a little far fetched, at times quite believable and then into the realm of improbability. Neverthless, it was entertaining and held my interest to the very end. If you can handle the violence, then this is an excellent film that you will definitely enjoy.
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on 11 January 2011
For me, this was the find of the year. It's a prison based film packed brimful of drama centred on the uneasy tentative relationship between a musical prodigy inmate (is she a killer or not?) and her elderly repressed lesbian piano teacher. The film's impact is immense with electrifying lead performances from Monica Bleibtrau and Hannah Herzsprung that'll knock your socks off. Beset by violent episodes studded with sublime music, the genius of the young inmate is nurtured by her teacher while we learn more of the Nazi past of one and the estranged parental relationship of the other. The final competition culminates in the most excitingly manic performance from Herzsprung.
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on 8 May 2013
Gripping, superb character acting. always interesting throughout with a suprising conclusion.
Monica is a star in the making, tremendous performance.
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