Information about the director.
Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested.
On the eve of World War I, strange accidents in a small Protestant village in Northern Germany involve the children and teenagers of a choir run by the schoolteacher and their families. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery as these events gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual.
An unexpected critical (Grand Prix at Cannes) and commercial (three months in London’s West End) success on its release in 2001, The Piano Teacher is a provocative, but ultimately frustrating, film. The intensifying relationship between Erika Kohut, a Viennese piano teacher whose musical focus is gradually undone by sexual repression, and Walter Klemmer, her uninhibited but unsuspecting student and admirer, lacks an underlying motivation, either physical or emotional, to sustain the tortuous encounters of the film’s later stages.