Jenny (Herzsprung), a piano prodigy as a child, begins a downward spiral when she's victimized for wanting to do something else. Soon transformed into a hardened criminal, she eventually gets convicted of capital charges, and faces a long prison sentence. While incarcerated, Jenny gets the chance to rekindle her talent under the tutelage of 80-year-old Traude (Bleibtreu), a teacher who appreciates Jenny's natural gift. The two further connect through their sense of victimization, as we learn (via flashbacks) that Traude has also experienced significant oppression.
Director Chris Krauss's intense drama is fueled by a scorching performance from young Herzsprung in the central role of Jenny, whose fury and pain project off the screen like daggers. Monica Bleibtreu provides a solid counterpoint as the bitter Traude, a woman whose prison exists in her own soul, with the study of music her only constant friend. Krauss explores the evolving relationship between these two women, and a film of remarkable sensitivity and perception emerges. Don't miss that ending!