Film Reviews, Short Review

Barbara (2012)


The films of German director Christian Petzold are enigmatic, slowly-paced, and thought-provoking. In Barbara, Nina Hoss’ titular character is exiled to a small country hospital for making a request to leave the country that angers the Stasi, and there she begins to make plans to escape. However, she develops a relationship with another doctor, Andre (Ronald Zehrfeld), who himself has a history with the police, but has opted to become an informant so as to keep working as a doctor. With wonderful pastoral cinematography that accentuates Hoss’ sly frame against the sea and the woods, suggesting she is little more than a flower at the mercy of larger forces, Barbara is a detail-rich investigation about an individual’s quest for freedom pitted against her duty and her humanity. Excellent.


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