(Das Vorspiel, Ina Weisse, Germany 2019, 90 min., German w/subtitles)
Nina Hoss (from Christian Petzold’s Barbara and Phoenix) plays Anna Bronsky, a violin teacher in a German conservatory. She transfers her past performance failings to her son, driving him to become a better musician, until Alexander, a new student, auditions for placement. Anna puts her professional reputation on the line and forces the admission of Alexander. As she pushes Alexander to improve, she pushes her son and husband away, creating strain in their relationships. Director Ina Weisse, herself an actor, imbues the film with creative decisions, eliminating a traditional film score in favor of the performances, implementing hard edits between scenes, and underscoring the oppression Anna feels through production design.