For Anat, music is everything. Having never been able to reach her father's musical standards, she rests her hopes on the child she's about to have. When the baby is born deaf, Anat succumbs to extreme measures to keep the dream alive.
For Anat, music is everything. Having never been able to reach her father's musical standards, she rests her hopes on the child she's about to have. When the baby is born deaf, Anat succumbs to extreme measures to keep the dream alive and raise the musical prodigy she was planning on. But as the young pianist grows up, his lack of respect for his grandfather becomes an obstacle to his career. Anat will have to confront her father.
The god of the piano is a false god, and we meet a family that is something of a fanatical cult in the service of that god-- musicians to whom little else is important. Anat, the protagonist, is a pianist whose hands are prematurely unsteady. She doesn't always do the right thing, but we can sympathize with her because of her plight, because she's pretty, and because the other characters (other than her son) are all rather peripheral. Anat's husband goes away on business, but exactly what does he do for a living? Did I miss it, or does it go unmentioned?
There isn't much of a sense of place. Many other Israeli movies are explicitly and colorfully set in a particular city. Maybe what motivates them is municipal funding or assistance, but still I think a story that is moored to a specific setting is usually the more interesting for it.
On the other hand, maybe the vagueness of the setting is intentional. Anat doesn't care very much where she is, or who she's with. At least for most of the film, she has no friend to talk to, so that the scriptwriter, who is also the director and editor, sets himself the challenge of explaining her to us (to the extent that he wants to) without relying on her to explain herself. The movie makes the point that the only person she can confide in is deaf.
So the movie proceeds with something of the spareness of a fable, and with something of the inevitability, but also with something of the detachment. I think the only jarring moment in the movie is when Anat has occasion to weep in disappointment. She gives off sharp cries that sound more like physical pain and that, by their strangeness, take us out of the scene rather than drawing us in. Nonetheless, the performance was good for a Best Actress award, so I shouldn't be too quick with even a small complaint.
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