Vier Minuten: for my Deutsch 10

Vier Minuten is a German drama whose storyline revolves around the lives of Traude Krüger, a spinster and former pianist, and Jenny Von Loeben, a rebellious and aggressive convicted murderess.

Traude Krüger has been a teacher in a women’s prison for quite some time, and when she meets Jenny, she seems quite reluctant at first to teach her but when she saw Jenny’s potential, she then offers to teach her for a competition.

Both characters have troubling happenings in the past. And it seems that through music, they were able to release themselves from their scarred pasts. Music became a source of freedom and release for them.

I found the film to be quite frenetic, and I was left disjointed at the end. It was quite chaotic in the sense that flashbacks are played without any clear explanations, and whenever those troubling flashbacks are presented, it gives the impression that neither the film nor the other characters actually care about them.

Whether the flashbacks present topics such as Nazism, Lesbianism, or sexual abuse, they all seem like a minor bother that should be gotten over with as quickly as possible. These kinds of actions may have been done so that there is only one focus, which is the true important thing for the characters and the film – Music.

Vier Minuten. Four minutes of glory is all that was ever given to Jenny van Loeben. Her performance in the finals of the competition left me with the phrase, “shock and awe.” I am a music major, and as a trained violinist, I don’t think that I will ever do such a performance wherein I will improvise and actually change the piece that I rehearsed over and over again for hellish periods of time. But I think I understand how Jenny felt. It was those four minutes.

The way she played was filled with pure expression and release. If I were left with only those few minutes in my otherwise condemned life, I’d probably do the same. There, I thought that maybe she was thinking that playing along the notes, and playing as precisely as you can get with a masterpiece, is like a prison in itself. I know that certain feeling of being “boxed in” when playing a piece, and of having to follow every single detail as dictated by the composer, and written as is for the whole world to perform. And if I were in those final moments, will I still play as written – in which I know that any other gifted musician can deliver the same expressiveness, precision, and dedication as required by the piece? Or will I give myself a shot to shock and to awe the audience in a performance they will remember for a very long time? I think I’ll give it a shot - those four minutes to freedom.