The film is simple, fable-like. All roads lead to a single choice, and you're really not sure what that choice will be until it's being made, and that moment and it's aftermath are truly strikingly beautiful. The rendering of the Soviet police state is a place of quiet terror, while the rendering of the Western capitalist alternative is a place of slimy coerced compromise. The kind of movie that sticks in your brain.
(...)Barbara, ein Film mit Suspense - ohne aber die üblichen Genre-Formeln zu benutzen. Einmal untersucht Andre einen Jungen, der sich umbringen wollte. Andre gesteht Barbara, dass etwas schief laufen würde. Man könnte das auf den gesamten Film übertragen. Etwas läuft schief in der DDR und jeder kann es spüren.(...)
Despite the excellent performances, and all the great cinematography (specially that scenes when Barbara is riding her bike through the East Germany forest), the film fails being too peaceful and slow. The film should have more tension scenes, more characters development and more material. In someway, in this film, GDR seemed a peaceful paradise (except the working camp scene.)
"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.
CINEMA _ A personal film, filled with Petzold´s memories (growing in east Germany). You see it in the details even if the film is well made enough not to focus on the reconstruction of the 1980s. Script well written with Harun Farocki. Good acting as always, played from inside - hold your emotions as long as you can. The ending could be a Dardenne one.
Mutad bir konuyu yalın üslubuyla anlatan hoş bir fim, propaganda veya anti-propagandayla yoğrulmamış olması ise ayrıca dikkat çekici. Bununla birlikte yeni bir şeyler de söylüyor bize: 'Burada hiç kimse mutlu olamaz' diyordu Barbara, ama bunu söylerken sevilmeye değer bir şeyler bulmaya başlamıştı bile, önyargılarından biraz olsun uzaklaşmaya.