Vier Minuten (2006) Script


I'm really sorry. About what?

Them dying.

I'm sorry about how they died.

Quiet down there!

A ten-meter fall would kill any fish. They were perch.

I know your perch.

The cleaning staff just emptied my fish tank out the window.


And the guards? Were carrying your piano, Mrs. Krüger.

They're not allowed in. Mr. Kowalski?


You can't be serious. But I am.

We've registered. You, Mrs. Krüger, but not your escort.

They're not allowed in, really.

These gentlemen are very nice.

These gentlemen are trash. And we can't let trash in.

Not even nice trash. No wonder your wife left you.

What a pain in the neck. What do you mean?

Oh, fucking hell...

Where are the movers? They're outside.

Warden... Just call me Meyerbeer.

You permitted the delivery, Mr. Meyerbeer.

No, I didn't permit some ex-cons to deliver your piano.

You must have known that they're not allowed in.

It was a matter of money.

Why didn't you tell me, Mrs. Krüger?

Money matters can be solved.

My salary was cut three years ago. I pay the piano tuners and buy new instruments myself.

The only money matters you've solved concerned your perch.

Stay objective. I just worry about my students.


Excuse me? Four. You have four students.

One hanged herself last night, and the other is Mütze.

Which is nice for him, but we were hoping... he'd act like a prison officer.

Piano, you are pretty free!

So please be still and listen because Ms. Krüger wants to see you brand-new in the prison.

Thank you, Mr. Mütze.

You're starting to show your true colors.

Mrs. Krüger...

You have every right to insult me.

But keep in mind that we have 300 prisoners.

You have an office, a piano room, and only four students...

Some people have asked me to cut the piano room altogether.

You remind me of someone, warden. Meyerbeer...

My first warden also refused to be called warden.

Head of penitentiary'? SS-Sturmbannführer.

You've been here for a long time, Mrs. Krüger.

Interested in piano lessons?

Piano lessons?

Take one.

There you go.

I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor mighty powers, neither the present nor the future, neither higher nor lower goods, nor another creature can separate us from the love of God that resides in our Lord Jesus Christ.


We mourn the deceased.

We will now hear her favorite sonata.

Mozart, A major.

So you didn't notice anything last night?

Ayse, she's new.

Stay out of it, Frankie, This is adults talking.


You didn't notice anything? I was sleeping.

You were sleeping?

She was sleeping.

You sure sleep well, huh?

Don't even notice someone biting the dust next to you.

You know what I think?

You didn't sleep at all.

You let her dangle, didn't you?

You're just the type.

You'd steal the last smoke from a corpse.

Are you cross-eyed?

You'll get yours, Jenny.

Don't touch me.

I said, don't touch! Quiet!

The new students are waiting.

The smell of lilac, so mild, so strong and full...

Hans Sachs in "Meistersinger"? -"She loved me for the dangers I'd pass'd"

"and I loved her that she did pity them". That's Othello.

"May you find peace in death..."

"May you find peace...?"

"May you find peace...?"

That's a tough one. Study, Mr. Mütze.

Or you'll never get anywhere.

Puccini? Puccini!

No? Let the ladies enter.

Go on.

Press it?


Your hands are sore. A little.

What happened? None of your business.

You want to play piano with those hands?

They're the only hands I've got.

Get her out.

Sure, Mrs. Krüger, but...

I think she's talented. Right now!

Enny von Loeben... Jenny.

It says here she's musical.

And my piano lesson? I'm sure you can do without.

What's your problem?

Young lady, watch your manners.


I can't play because of my hands? Fuck that fascist shit!

Don't touch me. I said, don't touch.

Let's go.

Fucking shit!

Go ahead.

L, uh---...

I don't know where you learned your skills.

Fuck off!

And I don't really care.

That negro music is worthless.


it was still...


God must have given you something special.

I think you're despicable, you should know that...

but you have a gift.

And you have the obligation to preserve that gift.

Once you've paid for what you did to the people here today...

I can offer you my help.

This help will not concern you as a person.

I can help you become a better pianist.

But I can't make you a better person.

Think it over.

Did we wake you up?

This is no time for sleeping.

Dad still can't speak well.

That's Clara. I'm Clara.

Well, Clara, can you do a nice curtsy?

That's a pity.

Is that your husband?

I don't have a husband, honey.

Is he dead?

No, Clara.

"I devoted my life to beauty alone..."

Tosca in "Tosca".

"This image is magically beautiful..."


Tamino in "The Magic Hoot".

"The Magic Flute."

"And you shall be..."

"And you shall be my Lord." Arabella in "Arabella".

Dad's going to be on TV.

So all the studying was of some use.

We all miss you terribly.

How's that woman? You know who, says Dad.

She will be severely punished.

Dad's going to kick her ass when he returns.

The words 'sorry,' 'please' and 'thank you' are missing in your letter.

Sorry. Please. Thank you.

Eat it. You want me to eat the letter?

Eat it. Why?

Rule number one. What'll rule number two make me eat?

The lesson I have to offer you requires humility.

Humility is rule number one. You'll do what I say and no complaining.

Not with words or glances. Never.

You want me to be your whimpering slave?

Well, okay then.

Hello! All right, I got it. It's a deal.

Sit back down.

Sit down.


I'll be your whimpering slave.

Rule number two: your hands.

You'll need them, so stop that.

Rule number three: you smell.

I don't want to sit next to someone who doesn't wash.

Rule number four: the contest.

What contest?

There's a piano contest for upcoming talents under 21 and I want you to reach the finals.

The girl deserves a chance. Yes.

That brat? Dieter, why not?

Don't call me Dieter. She knocked Mütze out for weeks, she's under strict confinement, and you'd let her hit the keys all day?

Is that just? Always consider the specific situation.

Oh, give me a break! You're so bullheaded.

Mr. Kowalski, let your wife finish. Ex-wife!

We should support Jenny. Her bio shows interferences... interferences? She basically slaughtered the guy...

Wait a minute! Let's not...

He's right, though!

Please, please, please!

We're all adults.

Mrs. Hofmann. Thanks.

Jenny has no contact to her family or anyone outside.

Not that she seems to care to.

She has no psychological parent and no perspective.

So what do you suggest?

A few piano lessons. Where will it lead us!

Mr. Kowalski... Listen, I represent all the officers and employees of this prison. Where will it lead us if we reward the perpetrators? It's useless.

She almost kills a guard, and then gets to play happy tunes.

That simply can't be!

Mrs. Krüger...

I don't know...

How successful could the inmate be in the contest?

She could win first prize.

Which would be a success for all of us.

And, of course, a personal victory for you.

Mr. Meyerbeer.

What's in it for me?

Rule number five:

This is not about you.

When I was that kid's age, I performed in New York and Amsterdam.

At ten I had played numerous international contests.

Half of which I won.

My adoptive father tried to turn me into Mozart.

When I quit at twelve, he fucked me senseless.

So I don't really feel like some stupid contest.

Then it might be best to go back to rule number one.

Good morning.

I call all my students by their first name.

If you don't mind. No problem. I'm Jenny.

Sit down, Jenny.

Let's start with something easy.

Schubert's Impromptu No. 2 in A flat major.

Let's take a look at your technique.

We'd like to start.

Go ahead.

Mr. Kowalski?


Take off her handcuffs.

The inmate's handcuffs have to stay.

That's ridiculous. Sorry.

Those are the rules. That's nonsense.

How am I supposed to teach her like that?

It's for your personal safety.

So we'll... read music. You can read music...

...can't you? Yes.

So, what's the time signature?

Three-four. Good.

I'll play the quarter notes and you sing the melody.

One, two...

Mr. Kowalski? You need to step back a bit.

If I step back, she can't read the music anymore.

One meter distance. Why?

Because of your hand. What about it?

She could bite you.

Jenny, are you planning to bite my hand?


She even bites her own hand.

Who do you think I am?

It all depends how far she gets.

Okay, I'll see what I can do.

But I can't speak for the editorial department.

Mrs. Krüger, meet Mr. Wahrich from "Der Spiegel".

Please be nice to the press. He's writing a piece about our prison.

I have to teach now.

Could she play something for us?

Not yet. Please!

We're still reading music. So read music.



Go ahead.

Then I need my handcuffs.

I've only played with handcuffs so far.

I like the handcuffs idea. Yeah, me too.

Handcuffed, then?

Behind the back, please.

Sure... behind the back.

Don't you ever... play that negro music again!

What? Negro music.

What the fuck! That's what I like.

Are you sorry, at least? Yes.

Yes, I'm sorry.


Oh, God. Those are the wrong ones.

Did you know there's trumpetfish?

And fiddlefish? Even drumfish?

Enough for a whole orchestra.

She does have small hands.

If there was a pianofish, it'd look like your daughter.

You as her dad can be proud.

The contest tomorrow will be a piece of cake for her.

It's only the first round.

Will you be there?

I mean, incognito, of course.

Is she in civilian clothes? Of course.

Is she clean? Sorry, I didn't try to sniff on her.

What are those? Civilian clothes.

We have to buy her clothes. Not permitted.

Forget it. A sweater, some pants, shoes...

In this outfit we don't even have to go.

Then let's go back to prison.

Oh, no. Oh, yes.

No way.

Take off your jacket.

Take off your coat.

It's your turn.

Should I put down my stipends? Yes, all of them.

I'm a master student. Put it down.

Are you a master student, too? No, I'm a killer.

Put it down. You never know what it's good for.

Let those losers fight it out.

It doesn't get my nipples hard.

We're here now... and we'll see this through.

No, we won't, you fucking cunt!

You're scared. Yeah, sure, I'm scared.

Oh, I'm so scared!

That's normal. The guy in there's scared, too.

As he should be. He's got no talent at all.

With you it's different. Spare me the psycho babble.

If you don't make it here today, you'll never make it.

Stop it. Then you're a coward, Jenny.

I said, stop it. A coward.

I warn you. A coward.

Shut your fucking mouth!

We have to stop at a hospital before we get back.

So I took them to a hospital, because of the girl's hands.

I could slap myself.

You see?

I'm a man of principles.

Then I made one exception... and got screwed.

And I always tell my children, "Don't trust anyone. Don't help anyone.

Don't give anything to anyone." And then I don't even stick to my rules.

I didn't think you'd be so stupid.

Maybe you're not stupid, but just...

Oh, I don't know.

What if the window had broken?

Nice view, huh?

Today you did something extraordinary.

And then you ruin it all.

What is it with you?

I knew the window wouldn't break.

I ran into it before, when my baby was born.

Two or three stories up, where the view is even nicer.

I was in labor for sixteen hours.

When I told the doctor that I... that I couldn't take it anymore, he said that I was just a con trying to stay out of prison.

They should have done a Cesarian.

But they didn't.

They just let me tear.

I blacked out.

When I woke up, the nurse said to me...

"Your baby...

Your baby is gone.

It's just gone."

Circulatory collapse.

His name was Oskar.


Three hours later they took me back to jail.

Nice name, Oskar.

Why do you stop? That was good.

Are you kidding? I need a break.

No, you don't. What's wrong with a break?

You've had a three-year break. Start again.

I've been here for two hours. So have I.

Let's hear it.

Come on!

"Come on!"

Jenny... Mrs. Krüger...

Please, Jenny, concentrate!

Pardon me.

I'm sorry.

I should have said something.

She's playing Beethoven for you. Well, she's talented.

See how talented she is?

It's nothing personal, we're just practicing.

She's going to play in a contest.

Me, too.

Tomorrow night, in color.


And this, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the last question, which can still turn the game around.

Maybe you'll make it this time.

Listen carefully, here it comes: the jackpot question.

If Mozart had written an opera for Cinderella... it would have resulted in what kind of cheese?

But Mozart never...

Why cheese...? Had Mozart written an opera for Cinderella, it would have resulted in what cheese? -Mozzarella.

This answer, ladies and gentlemen, is... correct!

Look who's back.

Inspection. Get up.

Get up!

You know what this means?

Good luck?

Bug infestation.

We're going to have to move you.

And I happen to know a nice place for you.

You like it here? Is it okay for you?

It's a good place to meet people.

Listen, you can do whatever you want here.

It's like a playground.

But there's one thing you should never do.

The thing you do best.

Play piano.

No, sleep.

You'll be more famous than him.

Much bigger.

I really believe in you.

They'll shave your head, too. No, they won't.

This summer I'll be out here with a pony.

And if not?

Then not.

Damn you... Stop it!

Is our time up?

Let's take a short break. I don't want to.

But you need one.

Strange how hard it is for both of us...


To be friendly.

Is it for me?

It's for tomorrow.

So it's for you.

For whomever.


Did you apologize?

To whom? You know who.

Try to relax. I am relaxed.

I'll go check.


You're up, Jenny!

Are you relaxed? Yes.

You were sensational.

You were wonderful.

I knew that you would make it big, even before you beat him up.

It was a joke, Mr. Mütze. Jesus“.

I'm sorry.

You apologized, didn't you?


So let's bury the hatchet.

Let's drink to that.

I thought you didn't drink. You're right. I don't drink.

I'll always respect him, but... he does get on my nerves.

Like I do?

No, you don't get on my nerves.

Okay, I'll say it first.

And I never even said it to people I've slept with.

I like you.

And you?

Do you like me?

Did you understand my question?

I'm not deaf!


You're in the final round. Practice...

Don't let it get to your head...

Pretend it's nothing...


One last question, please.

I think that's enough now.

How come she ended up here?

A great talent like her.

That doesn't concern me.

Don't you find it strange to sit next to a murderer?

As I said, it doesn't interest me.

And that she decapitated and cut up that guy?

They found his head at the dump.

Half eaten by rats.

I'm only interested in music.

Why are you so upset?

You've never cared about her past. Bye...

What do you expect to find in her file?

Mrs. Krüger, you've achieved something great.

You got media attention... If it's true... can I keep on working with her? If you're worried about your salary...

I'm sure we'll find a way... I want to see her file!


Where is she?

No. What do you mean?

I don't accept your apology.

Is she sick?

Let's go. Give me the key, I have to practice.

Don't touch.

Mrs. Krüger?

What do you want?

My name is von Loeben.

You've seen the photo. I've seen Jenny's file.

My daughter didn't do it.

We're not going to talk about Jenny's file.

Then let's talk about your file.

We're not going to talk at all.

"February 4, 1945."

Don't ask what archive I found this in.

I think you'd better leave, Mr. von Loeben.

Don't worry, nobody knows about it.

Don't be afraid.

Have you calmed down?

Have you? Yes.


You admire Mr. Furtwängler?

He was my teacher.

He supported you very much.

He writes that you're the... best German pianist in your age group, ideologically grounded, but mentally hypertensive.





What? Are you related to the convict?


Ff lends?

Yes, I'm... No.

You're certainly not friends with a parasite.


Are you sure?

Yes, I'm...

I was just her piano teacher.

"In the morning of February 2, I, Traude Krüger, born on November 21 , 1926, began work in the Wehrmacht Hospital 3 of Luckau Prison.

"The hospital ward where I work fell victim to a terror attack by the Americans at 7:45 a.m.

Several aircraft bombs hit the premises.

Buildings and Wehrmacht members were harmed.

As I learned later, an execution was interrupted by the attack.

I know the convict, Ms. Hannah Gebowski, fleetingly.

As a paramedic, I have received several awards.

I can't explain why I violated my duty and left my workplace on that day.

It must have been due to my state of exhaustion.

This negligence had nothing to do with my acquaintance with the convict.

Jenny never finished anything.

She ended up on the street.

There, or in some public restroom, she met this cute little hustler.

The cheapest kind.

And then... this boy killed his father.

It's nice here.

According to the files your daughter did it.

That's not true. Then why is she in prison?

Because she was convicted, not because she did it.

She incriminated herself to cover this loser.

He dumped her and got free.

She rejected any kind of help because I urged her to testify against the hustler.

He got her pregnant, did you know... Yes.

Then she got angry and pulled me into this.

She mentioned our... our relationship in court...

What could I do?

Admit that I slept with my daughter?

My wife would have killed herself.

What do you want from me?

You canceled Jenny's piano lessons.

She's innocent.

She didn't do anything!

What is this? Why aren't you playing the piano?

Hello, Mrs. Krüger.

It's nice to have you back. What are you doing?

We wanted to surprise you.

Clara and I.

So, Clara, can you do a curtsy now?

Then I don't want your surprise.

You denied Jenny access to the piano for three days. Is that true?

Well, I had to paint the music stand.

Go tinker somewhere else.

And you quit playing that negro music!

Negro music, huh?

I won't let you ruin your technique.

The concert is in one week.

We had an agreement. You lost us three days.

I do what you say. I play the pieces you pick.

I work your fucking Schumann till my ears hurt.

So don't freak when I play some good stuff. -It's noise.

It's mine. It's me.


If I hear that stuff again, it's over.

You want me to do a fucking curtsy, too.

You want your curtsy. No, I want you to win.

All you want is people doing a curtsy for you.

But I won't do that, ever. For no one.

Want to go inside?

Can't we still let her play the contest? After this?!

I know...

But we have such good press. The girl does.

"Melancholy behind bars."

Considering she almost killed two guys, that's good press!

That's not the whole truth. It's the bottom line.

How would the press react if we ruined her chances two days before the contest?

She ruined it for herself, and I don't give a shit what the papers write.

What if they write about you? Me?

"Petty prison officer prevents world career."

There's worse:

"Career-bent psychologist helps killer and puts public at risk..."

That headline is a bit too long.

So how about: "Prison warden forced to resign."

Oh, really? You bet.

You mean... Yes, I do.

Well, I think Mr. Kowalski has a point.

I revoke the leave for your student. Put her in strict confinement.

We'll investigate. You're destroying her life.

Jenny could try again next year.

Then she'd have more time to prepare.

Next year she'll be too old.

And so will I.

That's why I want to tell you something.

How dare you!

They said you're quitting. Is that true?

Why were you so mean to me?

That hussy just uses our piano.

I donated 500 euros for it, you know that.

Take as much as you need.

I don't want you to give it all up, honestly!

And what about last night?

You ask as if I weren't a good person.

You're not all good, either.

It was your idea, wasn't it? What if it was?

Go tell warden Meyerbeer the truth.

I have family, Mrs. Krüger, I can't do that.

"Oh, give me back my freedom."

"Oh, give me back my freedom."

"Oh, give..." -"And wash away the shame..." with blood in battle."

They're not allowed in.

Today is my last day.

I just want to get my piano.

Tell me, Mrs. Krüger...

What do those guys have that others don't?

One's a murderer and the other raped his niece.

I'll miss you, Mrs. Krüger.

Thank you.

In about four hours all hell will break loose.


"So farewell, my dear little table."

Manon in "Manon"?

Get a good price for it.

You've got a lot of junk. Your dress is over there.

Your shoes are polished. Who'll get all this when you're dead?

Hurry up. You still need to change.

I'm going to have some water.

Hello, this is Mrs. Krüger...

I'm calling about Jenny von Loeben.

Yes, we're coming after all.

I'm glad, too.

Are you in charge of the contest?

Please fetch him.

I thought you didn't drink alcohol.

Jenny, put some clothes on! I thought you didn't drink, general.


He was here? Not now...

No, we'll talk about it now. Jenny, we need to hurry...

Hang up and tell me what my fucking father was doing here, or I'll have a fit right now.

It's true, he was here. Fucking shit!

Stop it, please! Oh, shit!

He bought you. He planned the whole thing!

No, he didn't.

He checks out the prison, follows the pathetic teacher into her pathetic apartment and opens his fat wallet.

You've got it wrong. You lied to me.

No. Yes, the whole time.

And the dress?

Did he pick it? Did he buy the goddamn dress?

And the hand ointments?

Did he choose the music, too?

Did my father pick Schumann?

He probably got me out of jail. Since you weren't able to, granny.

Believe me, I never took any money.

I don't care about money.

I only love music.

Nobody only loves music.

You get off on having a hot student.

You're vain and eaten up by ambition. You don't care about me.

But Jenny...

I told you from the start that I don't care about you.

Where are you going?

Where are you going?


We could still make it.

Open the door.

Look at this. What's it about?

Who I am. I know you're a stupid whore.

No, I'm a stupid lesbian. See?

What did you say?

That's your way of talking, isn't it?

I once loved a woman.

She's dead.

I still love her.

It's all in there.

Eat it. Come on. Jenny...

You don't believe me? Eat it!

Eat it, goddamn it!

Jenny, don't... If you follow me, I'll hit you!

Jenny, wait!

You little rat!

You hit me.

I warned you.

Did anyone see us?

What was she like?

Different. It says 'communist' here.

That's what I mean.

No one saw us.

Hannah knew what hatred is.

And she knew what love is.

Most people are happy to be kissed good-night.

She took the photo three days before her arrest.

A comrade of hers was tortured and gave away her name.

Hannah was going to be decapitated.

But... on the day of her execution a bomb destroyed the scaffold.

So they thought of something else.

Am I supposed to cry now?

Do you think it's easy?

You think today was an easy day for me?

Why do you think I've stayed here for 60 years?

Because of a dead body? Great!

A lesbian who likes corpses. You're a perverted freak, madam.

How dare you!

How dare you talk like that?

I've worked very hard for this day.

I've overlooked your respectless manners and your fits.

I got you out of prison.

I told you about the only person...

I care about, and you walk all over me!

I didn't mean to... -You don't know about the ease of annihilation!

How dare you flush your talent down the toilet?

Listen... Shut up!

They just murdered this woman.

Even though, unlike you, she hadn't done anything!

Maybe she had a talent, too.

Perhaps she would have done anything... to live out that talent.

What else is there in life?

What's our purpose, Jenny von Loeben?

To break someone's skull?

Or to waste away in a prison cell for decades?

Or to reduce the world to rubble?

We all have a job to do, damn it!

I don't know what my job here was.

Maybe just to persevere.

But your job... is as clear as a bright day.

It is your job... and excuse my language... to get your lazy ass out of my chair and get moving.

Your job starts in two hours.

In the Deutsche Oper.

That, Jenny... is your job!

Good evening.

It's already started. I'm a finalist.

At the youth competition?

Jenny von Loeben!

I called two hours ago. We were delayed.

I need to see her ID. Please!

Or something similar. - I'll be right back.

This is indeed Ms. von Loeben. And you are?

Her father.

Her name is on my family swim pass.

Schumann... is a good choice.

I hope you win, Jenny.

I hope you die, Daddy.

He knows nothing about Schumann. It was my choice, not his.

You'll play it beautifully.

Two minutes to go.

Good luck.

Beautiful hands.


Ladies and gentlemen...

please welcome Jenny von Loeben.

We are going to hear Schumann's A Minor Concert.

I did it, I got her out.

Oh my, Mrs. Krüger, now we're in deep shit.

Give her those few minutes.


Please. What do you mean by a few minutes?


Subtitles: Tommy Mang/Stephanie Huffman