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subject, screenplay and direction:

Chris Kraus

produced by:

Kordes & Kordes Film Gmbh, Swr, Br, Arte, Journal Film Klaus Volkenborn Kg

distributed by:

Lady Film

Italian dialogues and dubbing direction:

Elisabetta Bucciarelli

dubbing assistant:

Gianni Simoncelli

dubbing sound technician:

Simone Bertolotti

sound mixer technician:

Fausto Ancillari

editing society:



Sound Art 23


Monica Bleibtreu:

Graziella Polesinanti

Hannah Herzsprung:

Myriam Catania

Stefan Kurt:

Gaetano Varcasia

Richy Müller:

Vittorio Guerrieri

Sven Pippig:

Roberto Stocchi


Four Minutes
(Vier Minuten, Germany 2006)

Two women disillusioned with life find a way to survive, one in complete observance or rules and regulations and the other in total ignorance of the same.

The contrasting attitudes of the two regarding rules and standards with elderly Traude, an ex Nazi lesbian piano teacher in a female prison and the young killer Jenny, raped by her father and therein imprisoned, seem to irreparably separate two human beings who are however intimately similar in being alone, different, unaccepted and antisocial, no longer capable of loving or expressing themselves except – in a brilliant way – through the piano. It’s not a coincidence that the two women live in a prison and in their music, two enclosed worlds based on the inflexible respect of rules.

No rhetorical rescue either through prison re-education – non-existent – or through music: Traude is forced to let Jenny escape in order to let her participate in a concert and Jenny pays her back by substituting Schumann with a furious exhibition of “Negro music”, in a final and desperate insult to the world which apart from a somewhat confused standing ovation from the public, only Traude is perhaps able to understand.

The direction is rigorous, intense and emotional, totally focused on details and on the sensitivity of the interpretation and should have had a likewise more careful dubbing.

The Italian dubbing is not worthy of any comment but above all it’s unworthy of praise. The dialogues are quite neglected and approximate. The curtness and the concision of the original dialogues would have allowed without doubt a precision which is missing, like the avoidable imperfections of two experts calling the solfeggio “leggere le note” (read the notes) or announcing a revolt in section 9 in a prison which doesn’t have sections. Exemplary of the superficiality in the screenwriting is the female psychologist, a grotesque theatrical figure of the normal world which confronts itself with perversity which in Italian seems to have come directly from a hairdressing magazine.

The dubbing direction doesn’t seem to have encouraged more than the natural capacity of its actors. Whilst Roberto Stocchi catches and represents the frustration of the guard Mutze, the fake gentle giant, and Gaetano Varcasia renders the modern slimy Meyerbeer, the director, very well, the two main stars are not effective: Graziella Polesinanti tries to copy the compressed recital of Monica Bleibreu ending up flatter and duller than necessary whilst Myriam Catania doesn’t seem to have the depth in coping with the complex personality of Jenny.

[original review in Italian by Giovanni Rampazzo]


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