Filmfest DC Series: Mozart's Sister (Nannerl, la sœur de Mozart)
4101 Reservoir Rd., NW
Washington, D.C., US 20007
For 36 years, the Washington, DC International Film Festival has brought us the best of world cinema, featuring many new and exciting films from around the globe. Come discover or re-discover the French hits shown at the festival through this delightful series curated by the Filmfest DC staff.
Enough about Wolfgang! This lushly appointed French costume drama focuses on his older sister, Nannerl. She was a talented harpsichordist and singer and might have been a brilliant composer if anyone (including her father) had believed a woman could write music. (She may even have penned a few early works attributed to Wolfgang.) The story begins in 1763, as Nannerl, her parents, and her 10-year-old brother tour Western Europe, dazzling the nobility with the kids’ musical gifts. An elaborate (and fictionalized) series of events brings Nannerl into contact with the heir to the French throne, who encourages the teenager’s desire to compose. But Prince Louis is a mercurial patron, and Nannerl ultimately decides that she prefers her family to a quixotic attempt to win musical fame. While times are sometimes hard for the Mozart family, the drawbacks of 18th-century life are sweetened by the film’s ethereal music. — Mark Jenkins