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BARBARA

BARBARA
photo © Hans Fromm

The summer of 1980. Barbara, a doctor, has applied for an exit visa from the GDR. Now, as punishment, she is transferred from the capital to a small hospital out in the country, far from everything. Jörg, her lover from the West, is already planning her escape. The Baltic Sea seems like the way to go.

Barbara waits. The new apartment, the neighbors, summertime, the countryside – none of that means anything to her anymore. Working as a pediatric surgeon under her new boss Andre, she is attentive when it comes to the patients, but quite distanced toward her colleagues. Her future, she feels, is to begin later.

Andre confuses her. His confidence in her professional abilities, his caring attitude, his smile. Why does he cover for her when she helps the young runaway Sarah? Does he have an assignment to keep track of her? Is he in love? As the day of her planned escape quickly approaches, Barbara starts to lose control. Over herself, her plans, over love.


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 2012
Director Christian Petzold
Screenplay Christian Petzold
Cinematography Hans Fromm
Cast Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Rainer Bock
Producers Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber
Production Company Schramm Film Koerner & Weber/Berlin, in co-production with ZDF
Length 105 min
Format 35 mm, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Berlin 2012 (In Competition), Istanbul 2012, BAFICI Buenos Aires 2012, Sydney 2012, Moscow 2012, Karlovy Vary 2012, Golden Apricot Yerevan 2012, European Film Festival Palic 2012, Melbourne 2012, Haugesund 2012, New York Film Festival 2012, Toronto 2012, Vancouver 2012, Telluride 2012, Cambridge 2012, Busan 2012, Reykjavik 2012, Sao Paulo 2012, AFI Fest Los Angeles 2012, Listapad Minsk 2012, Brisbane 2012, Tallinn Black Nights 2012, Odessa 2016, Les Arcs 2017
Awards Silver Bear (Best Direction) Berlin 2012, German Film Award 2012 (Best Film: Silver)
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BKM, German Federal Film Board, German Federal Film Fund
German Distributor Piffl Medien/Berlin

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