I saw this film this afternoon at the Watershed with Moira, Gareth+Alan almost by default.I’d originally been hoping to see “Anna Karenina” but, for some reason, it only lasted for one week at the Watershed and so we missed our chance (yes, I know it’s on elsewhere in Bristol – but it just wouldn’t be the same)… and so, to me at least, “Barbara” seemed very much second best.
How wrong I was!
Directed by Christian Petzold, the film is set in the East Germany of 1980 and tells the story of a doctor (quite brilliantly played by Nina Hoss) who has been moved from a prestigious position in Berlin to work in a provincial hospital as a punishment for submitting an application to emigrate to the west (and political insubordination?). The storyline is quite compelling: she’s planning escape with her lover to the west; she’s continually harassed by a Stasi official; she doesn’t really seem to fit in with her provincial colleagues but she appears captivated by an idealistic sense of “what’s right” and professional responsibility to duty (and by one of her fellow doctors?)(played by Ronald Zehrfeld).
A really lovely, delicate, dramatic film.