the Piano

Jane Campion

the piano

What is a voice? It does not need to be heard from the mouth. It can be written. It can be played. And this is what Jane Campion did. She played it with a piano.

the Piano is is a 1993 New Zealand film set during the mid 19th century. Ada is a mute pianist who has stopped spoken since age 6. With her daughter, Fiona, she was sold to a marriage with New Zealand’s frontiersman Alisdair. Ada does not speak but communicates through her piano and her daughter who serves as a interpreter.

Ada, her daughter and the piano

Ada, her daughter and the piano

Her daughter, fiona

Her daughter, fiona



However, shortly after Alisdair and Ada met, Baines, a local who serves as a interpreter,  grew fond of her and suggested that since Alisdair’s place do not have space to accomodate her piano, he will put it in his house first, provided that she goes and teach him the piano.



Blinded by sexual thoughts about Ada, he came up with an idea that if Ada wants to play the piano, she must show him something. For every black key, she agreed to lift her skirt higher. Initially disgusted by the idea, she later falls in love with him and had an affair behind Alisdair’s back.

The affair

The affair

Artistic statement

Piano, in this film is the main cause of everything that happened. Baines meeting Ada and falling in love with her. The increase of sexual tension between Baines and Ada. Jane Campion managed to portray a more realistic view of humanity, one like Ada who is quiet and dark. Many reasons, she will not speak yet her voice is louder than anyone’s. I decided to speak her voice through a short poem, showing the power and depth of her voice and the importance of her piano.

I Will Not Speak

I will not speak, my daughter is here;

I will not speak, it is a talent here;

I will not speak, God loves dumb creatures here;

I will not speak, unless my piano is here.

A love story so dark and compelling, I can’t help but fall in love with how Jane Campion portrays her characters.

List of references:

1. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107822/?ref_=ttqt_qt_tt

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Piano

About the author: Shannen is a lover of films especially musicals and yearns to be in one someday. She might not sing, she might not dance but what for? There’s IMAGINATION~


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