Intelligent, non-prescriptive story telling about a doctor forced out of Berlin to the countryside after applying for an exit visa during the iron curtain era. Superb cinematography and production design here that is only strengthened by the impressive acting might of everyone involved. 4 stars
"Barbara" pales a little in comparison with Petzold's most recent film, "Phoenix". Nina Hoss, his recurring leading actress, delivers another nuanced performance as a woman who has built walls around her, with some breaches that we get to see on a couple of scenes. The film lacked more tension/information but it was beautifully made. I sort of get its strict tone as a reflexion of East Germany's society at the time.
The slow pacing of the movie it's only broken by the secret escapes between Barbara and her lover and the relationship with Stella. I find it hard to understand how ostracized she is when everything feels so peaceful and the characters display so few emotions. Maybe I need a second watch to appreciate it more.
There is a mesmerizing energy that courses through Christian Petzold's electrifying follow up to his acclaimed thriller, JERICHOW, about a big city doctor in East Germany who is relocated to the provinces after applying for citizenship to West Germany. A quietly gripping drama, Petzold's striking mise-en-scene and lean, efficient style creates a palpable sense of Iron Curtain era paranoia. A major work.