EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|BARBARA (director/writer: Christian Petzold; cinematographer: Hans Fromm; editor: Bettina Böhler; music: Stefan Will; cast: Nina Hoss (Barbara Wolff), Ronald Zehrfeld (Andre Reiser), Jasna Fritzi Bauer (Stella), Mark Waschke (Jörg), Rainer Bock (Klaus); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Florian Koerner von Gustorf/Michael Weber; Adopt Films; 2012-Germany-in German with English subtitles)|
|"Engrossing Cold War thriller and
love story set in East Germany in 1980."
by Dennis Schwartz
Engrossing Cold War thriller and love story set in
East Germany in 1980 by German director Christian
Petzold ("Yella"/"The State I Am In"/"Wolfsburg").
withdrawn Dr. Barbara Wolff (Nina Hoss),
under constant surveillance by the Stasi and harassed
by her assigned middle-aged hostile operative Klaus
(Rainer Bock), is a beautiful banished East German
doctor from Berlin, with no disclosed charges, who is
assigned to a hospital in the provinces and is
supervised by the burly but friendly Dr. Andre Reiser
(Ronald Zehrfeld). Barbara is
cold with her colleagues and rebuffs Andre's kind and
romantic gestures, as her secret is that she's
planning to escape to her wealthy businessman lover (Mark
Waschke) in West Germany and trusts no
one. A runaway teen from the Torgau work
camp, Stella (Jasna Fritzi Bauer), is treated in the
hospital by Barbara and the two form a special bond.
On the eve of Barbara's escape, something happens that
tests her character and she must on an impulse make a
life-altering decision based on her humanitarian and
The performances by Hoss, in her fifth film for the director, and Zehrfeld, are brilliantly subdued and sensitive, making this gripping melodrama credible and emotionally satisfying. Petzold weaves a slowly unfolding moving story that incorporates politics, duty and romance into a pic that paints a haunting look at oppression in the bleak German Democratic Republic.
REVIEWED ON 3/3/2013 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ