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Ghosts (Gespenster)

Ghosts
Scene from "Ghosts" (photo © Schramm Film/Hans Fromm)

A man travels from Paris to Berlin. He’s looking for his wife. He will find her in a sanatorium and take her back to Paris with him.

His wife goes to Berlin every year. She is desperately searching for her daughter. In 1989, their daughter was abducted at the age of three. And she has remained unaccounted for.

One day the woman discovers a girl, Nina. She is a vagrant, a drifter. An itinerant, young woman. She roams around with another girl named Toni. She’s a girl who takes what she wants. A thief. The wife believes that Nina is her missing daughter.

Ghosts are apparitions who don’t want to accept that they are dead. They haunt the twilight regions, the realm between the living and the dead. They hope that love can make them come alive again. It is phantoms like these, which concern us here.


Christian Petzold was born in Hilden in 1960 and has lived in Berlin since 1981. He studied German Language and Literature before studying at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) from 1988 to 1994. His highly-acclaimed films include: PILOTINNEN (1995), CUBA LIBRE (1996), DIE BLEISCHLAFDIEBIN (1998), THE STATE I AM IN (DIE INNERE SICHERHEIT, 2000), SOMETHING TO REMIND ME (TOTER MANN, 2001), WOLFSBURG (2002), GHOSTS (GESPENSTER, 2004), YELLA (2006), JERICHOW (2008), DREILEBEN - BEATS BEING DEAD (DREILEBEN - ETWAS BESSERES ALS DEN TOD, 2011), BARBARA (2012), PHOENIX (2014), and TRANSIT (2018).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2005
Director Christian Petzold
Screenplay Harun Farocki, Christian Petzold
Cinematography Hans Fromm
Bettina Boehler
Stefan Will, Marco Dreckkoetter
K.D. Gruber
Cast Benno Fürmann, Aurélien Recoing, Marianne Basler, Sabine Timoteo, Julia Hummer
Producers Michael Weber, Florian Koerner von Gustorf
Production Company Schramm Film Koerner & Weber/Berlin, in co-production with Les films des Tournelles/Paris, in cooperation with Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, ARTE France Cinéma/Paris
Length 85 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German/French
Subtitled Versions French, English, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Sound Technology Dolby Digital, Dolby SR
Festivals Berlin 2005 (In Competition), Cine Independiente Buenos Aires 2005, Pusan 2005, Warsaw 2005, Montreal New Cinema/New Media 2005, Taipei 2005, Osaka 2005, Belgrade 2005, Natfilm Copenhagen 2005, Goteborg 2006,
Awards German Film Critics Award 2005
With backing from German Federal Film Board, BKM, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BR, ARTE, ARTE France Cinema
German Distributor Piffl Medien/Berlin

World Sales
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