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Barbara (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama | 8 March 2012 (Germany)
A doctor working in 1980s East Germany finds herself banished to a small country hospital.

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(screenplay), (collaborator on screenplay)
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10 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Claudia Geisler-Bading ...
Stationsschwester Schlösser (as Claudia Geisler)
Peter Weiss ...
Medizinstudent
Carolin Haupt ...
Medizinstudentin
Deniz Petzold ...
Angelo
Rosa Enskat ...
Hausmeisterin Bungert
Jasna Fritzi Bauer ...
Peer-Uwe Teska ...
Kellner im Ausflugslokal
Elisabeth Lehmann ...
Junge Kellnerin
Mark Waschke ...
Jörg
Peter Benedict ...
Gerhard
Thomas Neumann ...
Rentner am Auto
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Storyline

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. Instead, Barbara snatches moments with her lover as she secretly prepares to defect one day. Despite her plans, Barbara learns more about her life that puts her desires and the people around her in a new light. With her changing perspective, Barbara finds herself facing a painful moral dilemma that forces her to choose what she values. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual material, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 March 2012 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Bárbara  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in chronological order. See more »

Goofs

Andre hands Barbara a cup of coffee, which she promptly drops. You see the shattered pieces of the cup on the floor, but no coffee. See more »

Soundtracks

At Last I Am Free
Written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards
Performed by Chic
(c) Sony/ATV Songs LLC / Bernard's Other Music
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User Reviews

 
Physicians Behind the Iron Curtain
28 December 2012 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Looking back at 1980 East Germany director Christian Petzold conjures up a dreary Orwellian world of suppressed emotions, police state invasiveness and a simmering yearning for something better. The work of Cinematographer Hans Fromm creates an atmosphere of almost perpetual colorless twilight and Petzold's laconic scenes and long takes create a subtle but omnipresent feeling of oppression and paranoia.

In a beautifully understated performance Nina Hoss (Barbara) is a doctor whose desire to leave East Germany results in her being punished through relocation to a rural village clinic where she encounters clinic chief Ronald Zehrfeld (Dr. Reiser). Reiser appears to be sympathetic but she is reluctant to trust him. Jasna Fritzi Bauer is Stella a young girl who constantly escapes juvenile work camps seeking refuge at the clinic. Mark Waschke is Jorg a well-to-do foreigner who loves Barbara and offers to help her escape to Denmark where they can be together. Rainer Bock is a Stasi officer who periodically subjects Barbara to strip searches in an attempt to harass and prevent her from fleeing.

"Barbara" is a quiet character piece. It's a subtle, tense, humanistic drama not ideally suited for audiences of plot-driven pictures. Nina Hoss deserves serious consideration from the Academy as hers is one of the best performances by an actress this year.


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