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Home / Mr Mergler's Gift/L'héritage de Monsieur Mergler

Mr Mergler's Gift/L'héritage de Monsieur Mergler ONF/NFB


Catalogue Number:  NFB534880
Producer:  National Film Board of Canada
Language:  English
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2004
Running Time:  61m 58s
Closed Captions:  Yes


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The girl sits at the piano and plays the opening bars of Für Elise. Daniel Mergler has heard the Beethoven bagatelle countless times over the decades, but this is different. He listens with surprise, and delight lights up the old man's eyes.

The young pianist is Xin Ben, the 9-year-old daughter of Chinese immigrants. Fate has brought her to Mr Mergler, a music teacher whose career is drawing to a close.

Mr Mergler's Gift is their remarkable story--a moving account of a student and her mentor, and a lyrical homage to the transcendent power of music.

They will meet for less than a year--twenty-six lessons that change her life and his. Xin Ben illuminates his final months with her youthful talent, and in return he lovingly guides her towards a life in music.

With a light touch and sure hand, Oscar-winning filmmaker Berverly Shaffer crafts a film of elegant simplicity and deep emotion, gracefully documenting a dying man's dedication to his young prodigy.

Special features include an interview with the director Beverly Shaffer and selected musical performances by Xin Ben and Alexandre Solopov.

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