In September we’ll go back to the regular schedule. I have conducted several interviews that I am scheduling for September 2010 and you’ll enjoy them.
Four years ago I attended a film festival and saw Mr. Mergler’s Gift. It was the first time that I reviewed a film. I re-read the review and felt warmed by it so I thought that I’d share it with you. Whatever your vocation be, do you do it with passion? Do you put your heart into it? Enjoy the review below.
This month I decided to review a 30-minute film instead of a book because I found it moving. This story is about a student and her piano teacher. Set in Montreal, Canada, the film begins with Xin Ben and father, who recently immigrated to Canada from China, riding their bicycles. This particular Sunday, as fate would have it, they took a different route from church and rode through a park. As any typical nine year old, Xin Ben wants to play in the park. They park their bikes and Xin Ben goes to play on the swing while her dad sits on a bench beside Daniel Mergler.
Xin Ben’s parents had just bought her a piano at her insistence, and it turns out that Mr. Mergler is a piano teacher. The story is centred on the music. This little girl was very special because when she played the piano she played with such feeling. During the documentary, when Mr. Merglar talks about feeling the music, I paused and wondered if I was capable of doing with words what Xin Ben did with her music. When I am writing I want people to be able to feel my words and connect with what I am trying to communicate.
When Xin Ben plays Beethoven‘s Für Elise, Daniel Mergler realizes this is her song. Each musician has a piece that’s his or hers. Though Mr. Mergler has heard Für Elise played hundreds of times, this time it was different. After 26 lessons, Mr. Mergler’s cancer starts to overtake him and he is no longer capable of giving lessons. It’s at this time that he lets Xin Ben’s family know that he is dying from cancer. Mr. Merglear knows that Xin Ben’s talent is very rare, and that she needs a special teacher to mentor her when he is gone. As a gift, Mr. Merglear finds one of the top piano teachers for Xin Ben, a professor at McGill University. Xin Ben has to play for this music professor. She plays several pieces for him. He is so impressed by her skill and talent that he takes her on.
If you cannot view the YouTube video of Beethoven’s Für Elise click here.
This is a heart-warming film and the music is great. Whatever it is that you do, do you do it by rote, or do you feel what you do? This film reminded me to slow down and experience things. It reminded me about the importance of mindfulness.
I recommend that you view Mr. Mergler’s Gift it’s only 30 minutes long. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it. Click on any of the links to view and I’ve also included the YouTube version, which is in Parts so you can break up the time.
This review first appeared in Ambeck Edge May 2006. What do you have to add to the conversation? Let’s keep the conversation flowing, please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Mr. Mergler’s Gift, Beverly Shaffer
Part One Mr. Mergler’s Gift
Part Two Mr. Mergler’s Gift
Part Three Mr. Mergler’s Gift
Mr. Mergler’s Gift via Inspiring Film Channel YouTube