master class (2011)

Master Class is a condensed record of a single lesson, given by the Georgian-born, Soviet-trained pianist Eteri Andjaparidze. Ms. Andjaparidze works through a fragment of Rachmaninoff's "Variations on a Theme of Corelli" with a student, who poses peculiar cultural, linguistic, emotional and technical challenges. Both, master and student, must struggle through the inevitable lapses of communication to reach occasional triumphs.
his film is an attempt to elicit something of the extraordinary, even fantastic that abides in the perfectly mundane world of the practice room. And while the camera never escapes the confines of the lesson, the film nevertheless manages to reveal some of the themes that intersect within that narrow space: the lure of mastery, the difficulties of cultural transmission, the bitterness of exile, all mired in the routine of practice and repetition.