La Pianiste

The Piano Teacher | Die Klavierspielerin
Erika Kohut teaches piano at Vienna’s conservatory. Her educational eros is not without sadistic elements. She demands obedience and submission from her students. She lives, and shares a bed with her domineering mother, and seeks relief from her urges with porn films and self-harming. At an in-house concert, she meets young pianist Walter, a talented dilettante who falls in love with her. She reluctantly accepts him as a student. When she reveals her masochistic impulses to him, she is met with incomprehension and aggression … In the role of the borderline character from Elfriede Jelinek’s novel, Isabelle Huppert is reckless as she plumbs the far reaches of what can be depicted onscreen. Of all the extreme, often sexually challenged and compulsive characters that she has portrayed, Erika Kohut is without doubt the most disturbed and disturbing. Huppert was rewarded for her precise psychological vivisection of Erika with the Silver Palm for Best Actress at Cannes.
by Michael Haneke
with Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoît Magimel, Susanne Lothar, Udo Samel, Anna Sigalevitch, Cornelia Köndgen, Thomas Weinhappel, Georg Friedrich
Austria / France 2001 French 131’ Colour Rating R16


  • Isabelle Huppert
  • Annie Girardot
  • Benoît Magimel
  • Susanne Lothar
  • Udo Samel
  • Anna Sigalevitch
  • Cornelia Köndgen
  • Thomas Weinhappel
  • Georg Friedrich


Director Michael Haneke
Written by Michael Haneke based on the novel by Elfriede Jelinek
Cinematography Christian Berger
Editing Monika Willi, Nadine Muse
Production Design Christoph Kanter
Costumes Annette Baufays
Make-Up Thi Loan Nguyen, Ellen Just, Françoise Andrejka
Music Francis Haines
Sound Guillaume Sciama, Jean-Pierre Laforce
Producer Veit Heiduschka

Produced by

Les Films Alain Sarde


Additional information

DCP: mk2 Films, Paris