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watch Barbara trailer

Germany, 2012, 105 Minute Running Time
Topics: Political, Thriller
Program: Awards Buzz : Best Foreign Language Film
Language: German English Sub-Titles

Awards: Winner: Silver Bear, Best Director, Berlin International Film Festival

Over the last decade, with films like Jerichow and Yella, Christian Petzold has quietly established himself among the pre-eminent German filmmakers of the day. His latest, Barbara, has cemented that reputation, and won the prize for the Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival last year.

It’s a rigorously controlled film that resists genre shorthand and lets up its secrets gradually. We see a new female doctor arrive at a provincial hospital in what is still East Germany. She (Petzold’s regular star, Nina Hoss) is a transfer from Berlin, and immediately strikes her colleagues as distant and aloof. But there are reasons, as they suspect. Her small apartment is regularly searched, meanwhile her preference for cycling to and from work seems designed to make it more difficult for the Stasi to keep an eye on her.

The enigmatic, measured buildup pays off big time in the film’s gripping climax, when all the pieces come together to combine elements of the thriller and melodrama with real emotional purchase. Barbara sneaks up on you, but it sticks.

Winner: Best Director, Berlin Film Festival

Producer: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber
Editor: Bettina Böhler
Screenwriter: Christian Petzold
Cinematographer: Hans Fromm
Music: Stefan Will
Principal Cast: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Mark Waschke, Rainer Bock
Filmography: Dreileben: Beats Being Dead (2011), Jerichow (2008), Yella (2006),
Ghosts (2004), Wolfsburg (2002), The State I Am In (2000)
Print Source: Adopt Films -

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