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Phoenix (2014)

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A disfigured Holocaust survivor sets out to determine if the man she loved betrayed her trust.

Director:

Christian Petzold

Writers:

Christian Petzold (screenplay), Hubert Monteilhet (novel) | 1 more credit »
17 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nina Hoss ... Nelly Lenz
Ronald Zehrfeld ... Johnny Lenz
Nina Kunzendorf Nina Kunzendorf ... Lene Winter
Trystan Pütter ... Soldat an der Brücke
Michael Maertens ... Arzt
Imogen Kogge Imogen Kogge ... Elisabeth
Felix Römer Felix Römer ... Geiger
Uwe Preuss ... Clubbesitzer
Valerie Koch ... Tänzerin
Eva Bay ... Tänzerin
Jeff Burrell ... Soldat im Club
Nikola Kastner Nikola Kastner ... Junge Frau
Max Hopp Max Hopp ... Der Mann
Megan Gay ... Mitarbeiterin Zentralstelle Halensee
Kirsten Block ... Wirtin
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Storyline

In the aftermath of WWII, Nelly, a Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, horribly disfigured from a bullet wound in her face, undergoes a series of facial reconstruction surgeries and decides to find her husband Johnny who works at the Phoenix club in Berlin. Undoubtedly, Nelly is stunning, yet, her new self is beyond recognition, so Johnny, the man who may have betrayed her to the Nazis, will never imagine that the woman in front of him who bears an uncomfortable and unsettling resemblance to his late wife, is indeed her. Without delay, and with the intention to collect the deceased's inheritance, Nelly will go along with Johnny's plot and she will impersonate the dead woman, giving the performance of a lifetime before friends and relatives in a complex game of deceit, duplicity, and ultimately, seduction. In the end, during this masquerade, as the fragile and broken Nelly tries to find out whether Johnny betrayed her or not, she will have to dig deep into her wounded ... Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Rich Hitchcockian Tale! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief suggestive material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

Germany | Poland

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

25 September 2014 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Ave Fénix See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the inspirations for the film came from Vertigo (1958), Germany Year Zero (1948), Out of the Past (1947), film noir and the works of Douglas Sirk. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lene Winter: [arriving at the border]
Soldat an der Brücke: Passport... Nice car. Where did you get it from?
Lene Winter: It's from Switzerland.
Soldat an der Brücke: Just like you?
Lene Winter: Like me.
Soldat an der Brücke: [whistles to the gate] They're from Switzerland. The girl too.
[to her passenger]
Soldat an der Brücke: I want to see your face.
Lene Winter: Can I talk to you?
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Berlin im Licht
Written by Kurt Weill
(1928)
Performed by Valerie Koch and Eva Bay
See more »

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User Reviews

 
See it.
22 November 2014 | by tim-downieSee all my reviews

The only weak aspect of this film is that the central idea is just not quite believable (albeit easily more believable than most mainstream films). Everything else was quite brilliant. There are plenty of films about Jews in Nazi Germany and a good few films set in the aftermath of world war 2. This is however the first film I have seen exploring the lives and emotions of Jews in post war Germany trying to reclaim their lost monies and contemplating where to spend their future lives. In this respect the film portrays two opposing views very powerfully. The acting, screen play, cinematography and direction is superb. I predicted aspects of the climax but the subtleties were a surprise (no spoilers here). Two of the three main roles are played by women, are strong characters and passes the Bechdel Test with in the first few minutes.


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