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Christian Petzold (2012)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Director Christian Petzold's fifth collaboration with muse Nina Hoss often feels like a Douglas Sirk melodrama tinged with a bittersweet "ostalgia" for the repressions and privations of 1980s East Germany. Banished to a clinic in a remote town for requesting a travel visa, Hoss's Berlin doctor hopes to escape to her boyfriend (Mark Waschke) in the West, but is constantly under the surveillance of the Stasi. However, as she treats a suicidal man and a meningitis-stricken teenager, Hoss is drawn to her supervisor (Ronald Zehrfeld), who is torn between his growing affection and his official duties. Tensions mount as the estimable Hoss considers her options, but this is not an outright thriller. Petzold's film also refuses to be a simple denunciation of the GDR regime, with cinematographer Hans Fromm bathing the austere interiors with warm hues that suggest life wasn't always intolerable beyond Checkpoint Charlie.


A doctor in Communist East Germany wishes to defect to be with her secret lover in the West. Driven from Berlin and forced to work in a rural hospital, she finds her escape plans threatened by her uncertain feelings for a colleague and growing suspicion that the Stasi are monitoring her actions. Drama, starring Nina Hoss and Ronald Zehrfeld. In German.

Cast & Crew

Barbara Wolff Nina Hoss
André Reiser Ronald Zehrfeld
Stella Jasna Fritzi Bauer
Jörg Mark Waschke
Klaus Scütz Rainer Bock
Schlösser Claudia Geisler
Angelo Deniz Petzold
Director Christian Petzold
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Other Information

Language: German +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: SodaGuidance: Sexual referencesAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 28 Sep 2012