Winner of Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival 2012, this slow-burning Cold War drama follows a doctor torn between the West, where her lover has emigrated, and her obligations in the East.... More
Banished from Berlin for trying to obtain a travel visa, Barbara (Nina Hoss) winds up practicing medicine in an East German village. While her partner plans her escape via the Baltic Sea, she grows fond of Andre (Ronald Zehrfeld), the seemingly good-natured boss at her new clinic.Hide
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BY Aaron Yap Flicks Writer
In the recent past, communist-era Germany has served as the inspiration for entertaining crowd-pleasers such as Goodbye, Lenin! and The Lives of Others: the former poked fun at the phenomenon of ostalgie (nostalgia for East Germany), while the latter entered the world of Stasi spying to produce a paranoid Orwellian thriller.... More
Christian Petzold’s Barbara, however, takes a far more opaque route into the German Democratic Republic, eschewing narrative comforts to spin a low-key, tenuous romance characterised by its sparse, deliberately paced storytelling and seeming lack of score.
Petzold subtly builds the film around its central character of Barbara Wolff (Nina Hoss), locking the viewer into her perspective of suspicion and fear as a doctor who’s been banished to a rural hospital after getting caught trying to exit the GDR.
Hoss’ performance is hypnotic, a tautly understated modulation of Barbara’s cautious adjustment into her new work environment where she’s supervised by Dr. Reiser (Ronald Zehrfeld), a kindly physician who soon develops feelings for her.
The oppressive atmosphere of the communist regime is ever-present: cinematographer Hans Fromm’s uncluttered compositions highlight Barbara’s aloneness and unease as she lives under the watchful, invasive eye of the Stasi. But Petzold’s film also takes a more interesting, complicated turn into greyer areas when she begins to weigh up her growing sense of responsibility to her patients against her desires to escape to be with her West German lover.
Ultimately transcending itself as another work of Eastern Bloc gloominess, Barbara emerges a hopeful story about a quietly seismic self-awakening.Hide
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BY freshdude superstar
Barbara, surgeon, arrives in a godforsaken corner of East Germany in 1980. Sent there from Berlin for wanting to move to the West, she does not smile. She keeps her apartment empty , as to denounce the nothingness that surrounds her. She is a beautiful captive of a desolate communist world, a heroin dropped in a romantic... More desert. In that world where nothing must disturb the motionless order and the immutable appearances, Barbara's actions are signs. Her bike rides. Her attention to one particular patient. How she refuses the attention of her colleague, who seems to be fascinated with Barbara, like me, and not unlike the local Stasi agent. Her mystery inhabits the film, her secret guides the tale. For her, banned, thrust into a cul-de-sac of the GDR, a life story is slowly recomposed, a story not only of resistance to destructive political regime (as we saw in The Lives of Others).
Christian Petzold is a true auteur in modern cinema in my books.
I loved it.Hide
BY Weds_Loafers superstar
BY AltJacobunny wannabe