(Germany, 2012, director/co-Writer: Christian Petzold)
PG-13 / 105 mins
Winner of Best Director prize at the Berlin Film Festival, this well-acted Cold War thriller is set during the 1980swhen the stand-off between East and West, Capitalism and Communism was in full bloom, and when asking to emigrate was considered an offense against the people and the state.
Such is Barbara’s (Nina Hoss) “crime.” She’s a Berlin physician who’s exiled to a small town hospital in the provinces where she’s watched closely by the Stasi and by a colleague, the lead doctor (Ronald Zehrfeld). With her patients the guarded, cool blonde doctor is kind, warm, and protective, even risking her own safety for one of her charges. She finds herself torn between the promise of escape across the border and her growing love for her colleague – who may be planning to betray her to the secret police. Masterfully controlled and totally absorbing, this Cold War thriller expertly dramatizes the push/pull between the individual and the collective, and the power of the bourgeois notion of romantic love. In German with subtitles.