Opening 25 Sep 2014
Once again in collaboration with Nina Hoss in the lead role, Christian Petzold (director, screenplay) created a thought-provoking and suspenseful psychological drama in striking pictures (Hans Fromm, camera), based on a novel by Hubert Monteilhet. Nelly (Nina Hoss) – by friends believed to be dead, her entire family killed – has been brought back from the Nazi Death Camps to Berlin, a city still devastated by WW II. Desperate to get her old life back, Nelly has undergone reconstructive surgery for her severely disfigured face. There is only a hint of her former appearance left; even she can’t recognize herself anymore.
Lena (Nina Kunzendorf), a well-connected friend from pre-war times who works for the
Jewish Agency, has helped her every step of the way; she proposes they start a new life in Israel, financed by Nelly’s inheritance. But instead – and against Lena’s warnings – Nelly sets out to find her husband. When she finally tracks Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld) down, he doesn’t recognize her. He does notice a vague similarity though and wants to use this to his advantage. He proposes a business deal for which Nelly is asked to impersonate herself. A cruel game begins, and it is painful to watch this person trapped inside a body, aching to be recognized for who she is. This and the transformation that follows are brilliantly portrayed by Nina Hoss. (Carola A)