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Barbara (I) (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  8 March 2012 (Germany)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 8,230 users   Metascore: 86/100
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A doctor working in 1980s East Germany finds herself banished to a small country hospital.



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


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 (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

8 March 2012 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Bárbara  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Germany's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 85th Academy Awards 2013. See more »


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 »


Cuban Blues
Performed by Dresdner Tanzsinfoniker
Composed by Günter Hörig
See more »

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User Reviews

A Quiet, Simple, and Elegant Film
14 September 2013 | by (Tokyo) – See all my reviews

I visited Eastern Europe, Berlin, Prague, and Budapest, in March 1990. At that time, the Berlin Wall had already been fallen down, but Germany had not reunited yet.

People could freely come and go over the borders between East and West Germany. I went through Checkpoint Charlie to East Berlin, and I visited retro-future TV tower and saw Ladas running on street.

In a night train from Berlin to Prague, I asked a passenger who sat next to me if Germany would reunite in a year, and he answered that he didn't believe it would happen so early. In fact, Germany reunited in October 1990.

Although I actually visited East Berlin, now, it is hardly for me to believe that the half of Germany was a communist state just twenty-three years ago.


"Barbara" is a German film about people living in East Germany in 1980. Barbara is a female doctor, who was watched by the secret police.

It is one of the greatest German films that I have ever seen. There is no exaggeration and omission in this film. Every element in it is necessary, and I couldn't find that any things were unnecessary.

This film is very quiet, because there is no background music. That makes audience concentrated in every tiny sound. Barbara was always nervous about the secret police, so she got surprised when the doorbell started to ring, and the audience also got really surprised with the sound of the doorbell, and fully understood her emotion.

Nina Hoss, as Barbara, was also great and attractive. She didn't overplay at all, but accurately expressed how Barbara felt in her mind. After seeing her performance, most actors and actress became to look unnatural.

This film is a quiet, simple, and elegant. If you love films, I strongly recommend you to see it.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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