Wunderkinder

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Markus Rosenm├╝ller
  • Cast:Natalia Avelon, Gedeon Burkhard, Catherine H. Flemming, Rolf Kanies
  • Release Date:September 06, 2012
  • Distributor:Umbrella
  • Running time:96 minutes
  • Film Worth:$13.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

It never quite hits the emotional heights it sets out to, but remains a unique and moving take on an often-explored period of history.

review image eb0b78462d9d4c2ca204.jpg.

Wunderkinder is the story of Hanna, a young German violinist who befriends two Jewish child prodigies named Abrascha and Larissa before the Nazi invasion of the Ukraine in 1941. What starts as an innocent friendship between three talented musicians quickly gets brought back to earth as the brutal realities of war sink in. With their families struggling just to survive, the relationship between the three children gradually becomes more and more important.

Showing war from a child’s perspective is always a sure way to emphasise the atrocities committed on the innocent, and Wunderkinder tries hard to show the damage done to the characters involved. The three child actors playing the prodigies are all suitably wide-eyed and adorable, and while all are solid, Elin Kolev, as Abrascha, the only boy of the trio, is the stand-out. Apart from having a heartbreakingly earnest screen presence, Kolev is also a violin prodigy in real life, and plays all his own music in the movie. For the most part, the adults fare just as well, with Kai Wiesinger a highlight as Hanna’s father, Max.

Wunderkinder looks beautiful too, and is as moving as you’d expect from a film set in such a tragic time. With everyone playing their parts aptly, Wunderkinder should have been great. But it suffers from its own simplicity, as well as an ending that strives slightly too hard for heartbreak. The film is also pointlessly bookended with footage of Hanna in the present, narrating her story to a student in a music theatre. Wunderkinder shows promise throughout, but strangely leaves you expecting more. It’s a decent movie overall, but not quite the deeply affecting success that it intends to be.

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