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Ukraine 1941: Max Reich and his wife arrange for Jewish children, Abrascha and Larissa, to give music lessons to their daughter Hanna in order to save their lives.
The divide here is not only between Germans and Jews but also those who have talent and those who do not. Even though Hanna is diligent in her violin practice and highly skilled in her own right, she cannot match Abrascha’s brilliance. Above all this, the three children show how cultural, religious and talent barriers can be eclipsed by the immense joy they all find in music.
No one is safe: hiding and escaping, captured and reinstated, the families are trapped between both Communism and Nazism as the Soviet Union gets invaded. With a growing sense of dread, the film comes to a horrifying yet non-melodramatic peak when a local Kommandant invites the Jewish children to literally play for their lives.
Wunderkinder features a classical score by composer Martin Stock and the virtuosic talent of young Elin Kolev who plays Abrascha.
“The film is dedicated to the 1.5 million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust but there’s very little violence and bloodshed.” SBS
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