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Director: Scott Hicks
Producer: Jane Scott
Screenwriter: Jan Sardi
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Noah Taylor, Alex Rafalowicz, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Lynn Redgrave, John Gielgud, Googie Withers
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Year of Release: 1996
Released on Video: 07/15/97

Marvel at the way the human spirit tries to heal itself. This story, based on the life of Australian pianist David Helfgott, traces his youth as a child chess and piano prodigy under the savagely domineering hand of his father, who berates him with stories of his family’s slaughter in German concentration camps. As an adolescent, David wins a coveted position to study at the Royal College of Music in London, but his father demands he refuse it because by leaving, he will “destroy” his family. David enters the school anyway, but then has a nervous breakdown during a crucial concert. Years later, as a largely forgotten, broken man, David wanders the streets babbling nonsense, then stumbles into restaurants where he astounds the guests by playing rapturously on the piano. Eventually, he falls in love with a woman who helps to heal his emotional and mental troubles.

Viewing Suggestion:

David has to face many immense challenges. With much determination and endurance and with help from his wife he is finally able to find peace.

Ask Yourself:

- Do you feel too challenged by circumstances in your life or by the effects of trauma that you experienced earlier to believe that you would ever be content or happy again?
- Can you remember a time in your life, even if it was very short, when you were contented or happy despite your challenges?
- Does David’s capacity to find healing for his emotional wounds remind you of possibly neglected resources inside you that might help you to achieve the same?
- How did you feel when you observed David’s determination and endurance?
- How and where in your life could you adopt this attitude?
- How would this make you feel? How would it affect your self-esteem?