God of the Piano
Director: Itay Tal Run Time: 80 min. Language: Hebrew
Anat (Naama Preis, winner of the Jerusalem Film Festival award for Best Actress) has never been able to reach her father’s exacting musical standards, and now her family’s hope of producing a musical prodigy rests on her unborn son. When the baby is born deaf, she cannot accept it and resorts to extreme measures to ensure that her child will be the composer that her father always wanted. But when the boy grows up indifferent to his destiny as a great pianist, Anat will have to stand up to her father – and her own actions.
“This stylish first feature negotiates its themes – the overlap between parental ambition and borderline abuse, what it means to be labeled ‘gifted’ – with the same control and precision that Anat and her family bring to their chosen profession. But there is also a cagey restraint here; like Anat, the film guards its secrets jealously. The result is genuinely impressive: this is storytelling which is as enigmatic as it is compelling. Not surprisingly, the use of music throughout is superb. The obvious comparison, both in the rarefied milieu and in the atmosphere of high achieving dysfunction, is the work of Michael Haneke. While the self harm in God Of The Piano is mental rather than physical, there is a clear tonal harmony with Haneke’s The Piano Teacher.” ~ Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
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