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This could have been a disaster. The premise (which I will not spoil, but is easy to find) takes some swallowing, but director Petzold and star Hess get you over the initial bump to set up a situation of great tension. The difficulty then becomes resolving that satisfactorily - and when I saw Nina Hess introduce this movie at the London Film Festival, she said that initially they weren't sure how to end it - but they pull off an absolutely bravura climax to the tale, an unforgettable scene, cinema at its finest.
Hess is brilliant in the central role, a really difficult part that she makes absolutely convincing. The other star here is the cinematography. There are other fine moments too - a really creepy scene early on full of women with bandaged faces - that help set the atmosphere. But the real thrill is to see a story told with such conviction and concluded with such panache.
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