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11 days to watch
What Is an Auteur?
3.8
1,506 Ratings

Barbara

Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, 2012
Drama
  • German
  • English
What Is an Auteur?

Synopsis

In 1980s East Germany, Barbara is a Berlin doctor banished to a country medical clinic for applying for an exit visa. Deeply unhappy with her reassignment and fearful of her co-workers as possible Stasi informants, Barbara stays aloof, especially from the good natured clinic head, Andre.

Our take

With the new thriller by Christian Petzold in cinemas (read our interview about Transit) our auteur series turns to highlighting this brilliant German. Adroitly combining genre cinema with deeper inquiries into his nation’s painful 20th century, Petzold’s films are as enthralling as they are smart.

Barbara Directed by Christian Petzold Watch now
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In a nod to melodramas like Stella Dallas (1937), Barbara ends with an enormous sacrifice by its steely lead character, though without the sentimentality and self-abnegation common to the “women’s weepie.”
March 01, 2019
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All of this is conveyed through the subtlest nuances in looks and timing. Masterful stuff.
February 12, 2012
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References to Turgenev and Mark Twain, and a virtuoso deconstruction of a Rembrandt painting make this literate, teasing work one that will surely reward repeated viewings.
February 11, 2012
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