Madame Sousatzka (1988)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 2 mins

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Bengali Sushila Sen and her son, Manek, relocate from India to London after Sushila's relationship with her husband fails. Sushila struggles with everyday living. A child piano prodigy, Manek's schoolteacher refers him to a piano teacher, Irina Sousatzka, a Russian immigrant renowned for her teaching skills. Irina forms a strong bond with Manek, not only teaching him piano but also valuable life lessons. Disagreements arise, as Manek does not want anyone to run his life for him, but nevertheless the training progresses. Sushila, a baker and seller of Indian cuisine, loses an important client after her hair is found in one of her baked goods. To help his mother, Manek feels pressure to use his piano skills to earn some money. This is against Irina's wishes, however, as she is trying to protect Manek from her own negative experiences as a young concert pianist. She believes no student should perform until they are ready. But Manek, encouraged by a pushy music agent, decides to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra, ready or not.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Navin Chowdhry, Peggy Ashcroft, Shabana Azmi, Shirley MacLaine

Crew: John Schlesinger (Director), Nat Crosby (Director of Photography), Gerald Gouriet (Music Director)

Genres: Drama, Musical

Release Dates: 14 Oct 1988 (India)

Tagline: I teach not only how to play, but how to live.

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Did you know? The last cinema film of Peggy Ashcroft. Read More
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Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor






Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Production Designer
Art Director


Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
I teach not only how to play, but how to live.
Shirley MacLaine won a Golden Globe for Best Actress (Drama) for her performance, but failed to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award. As of 2004, this is the only time the Golden Globe Best Actress winner was not even nominated for the Oscar.

This was the first film to receive the 12 certificate, introduced by the British Board of Film Classification in 1988.

The last cinema film of Peggy Ashcroft.