A man travels from Paris to Berlin in search of his wife. He finds her in a psychiatric hospital in Spandau and takes her back to Paris. Every year, the wife makes the journey to Berlin, desperately searching for her daughter who was abducted in 1989 at the age of three. She was never found. The wife meets a young vagabond named Nina. A drifter who doesn’t seem to have a home of her own, Nina roams about the city with Toni, taking the world as it comes, stealing whatever she can, here and there. The wife is convinced that Nina is her lost daughter. —Berlin Film Festival
Christian Petzold was born September 14, 1960, in Hilden, as the oldest of three sons. He grew up in Haan, where he went to school and finished his high school degree in 1979. After finishing civil service, Christian Petzold went to Berlin in 1981 and started to study German studies and dramatics at Freie Universität Berlin. After his graduation in 1989, Petzold continued to study at Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb). During his studies, Christian Petzold worked as an assistant director for Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki – who contributed to all of Petzold’s later feature films – and worked as a film critic for several newspapers and magazines.
After several short films, including Süden and Das warme Geld, Petzold finished his graduation film for dffb, Pilotinnen, in 1994. The film production company Schramm Film Koerner & Weber participated in the production of Pilotinnen and Petzold continued to collaborate with the… read more
As per usual Petzold, Gespenster is mercurial cinema, stripped to its essence, that is, a stream-of-consciousness narrative unsullied by a static but highly observant visual style. It's not up to The State I Am In (2000) and Yella (2007), for its running time belies the thematic expanse of its placidly impulsive beauty. Still, be assured that Petzold is a great director, currently arriving at my top choice.