When I first heard about the new French film, Mozart’s Sister, I immediately marked November 4th on my calendar, because Rene Feret’s new film opens at DC’s E Street Cinema today! Feret has made clear that the film is largely fiction, with historical roots in the Mozart family dynamics and women’s status in 18th-century Austrian society. All the same, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the Ferets deliver (both director Rene Feret and his daughter, Marie Feret, who plays Nannerl in the film). Read more about Mozart’s Sister, how composer Marie-Jeanne Serero went about composing “as Nannerl might have,” and why Feret felt so compelled to explore this woman’s life in an article from The Washington Post. DC readers, you can see the film at E Street Cinema; for the rest of our readers, I recommend checking out the country-wide play dates on the film’s official website.
But before you head to the theater, allow me to highlight a piece of correspondence from the Music Division’s collections – a handwritten letter from a 14 year-old Wolfgang to his beloved sister Anna Maria Mozart, known as Nannerl (5 years his senior). The letter, dated March 3, 1770 and addressed to “Cara sorella mia,” describes Wolfgang’s social and musical activities in Milan. In the postscript, Wolfgang’s playful personality shines through as he implores Nannerl to kiss their mother’s hand 1,000,000,000,000 times for him.