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Barbara (2012)

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

Director:

Christian Petzold

Writers:

Christian Petzold (screenplay), Harun Farocki (collaborator on screenplay)
10 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nina Hoss ... Barbara
Ronald Zehrfeld ... André
Rainer Bock ... Klaus Schütz
Christina Hecke ... Assistenzärztin Schulze
Claudia Geisler-Bading Claudia Geisler-Bading ... Stationsschwester Schlösser (as Claudia Geisler)
Peter Weiss Peter Weiss ... Medizinstudent
Carolin Haupt Carolin Haupt ... Medizinstudentin
Deniz Petzold Deniz Petzold ... Angelo
Rosa Enskat Rosa Enskat ... Hausmeisterin Bungert
Jasna Fritzi Bauer ... Stella
Peer-Uwe Teska ... Kellner im Ausflugslokal
Elisabeth Lehmann Elisabeth Lehmann ... Junge Kellnerin
Mark Waschke ... Jörg
Peter Benedict Peter Benedict ... Gerhard
Thomas Neumann 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

Taglines:

One of the Year's Best Films! See more »

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:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

8 March 2012 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Bárbara See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Torgau workhouse to which Stella is sent is the Torgau Juvenile Detention Centre. The Centre, which ran from 1964 to 1989, was for the "re-education" of young people aged 14 to 18. Inmates had committed no crimes, but were deemed to need education so that they could fit in with the norms of socialist life in East Germany. 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 »

Quotes

André: Doctor Wolff will be working with us. She is from Berlin... from the Charite Hospital, and has decided...
Assistenzärztin Schulze: We have introduced ourselves.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Physicians Behind the Iron Curtain
28 December 2012 | by georgep53See 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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