I watched a video on Netflix called, “Mozart’s Sister.” The film touched me on numerous levels. First, it was lovely to hear the French language. It puzzles me that, on occasion, I can watch a move in French and never notice it is not in English. How can it be that there are other French movies that cause me to strain to keep up with the subtitles? The most perplexing situation arises when I need to read the subtitles but feel committed to correcting the mistakes. A small example; sans doute means “without doubt”..... which simply is not the same as the translation that appeared on the big screen. There, it appeared as “perhaps.” There is no perhaps in "without doubt."
The second thing I enjoyed when watching “Mozart’s Sister” was seeing some of the familiar sights at Versailles (Room of Mirrors, the garden, the Dauphin’s chambers) and in Paris (l’Opera and the National Academy of Music). The cliffs of Calais were never more breathtaking. Normandy wore a new face. I never realized that it looked like the grander, albino cousin of the cliffs at Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard.
The final thing that moved me about the movie was the recognition of the the rights I have as a woman today. There is room for me to study what I choose, learn what I desire, create what I dream. I can vote. I can pursue my own destiny without my father’s or my husband’s hand controlling me. I was reminded that Nannerl and other women of that time, no matter how educated, would not have enjoyed such freedoms.
I would have liked to meet Mozart’s sister. If we could bridge the communications barrier, what would she share? Surely, she could not have imagined her life would be raked for details to illuminate her brother’s. But, perhaps, I am wrong. Despite her own creative genius, she was eclipsed by her younger brother’s -- yet, Nannerl made it her life’s work to preserve her brother’s.