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Review: Barbara

By GERALD PEARY  |  December 18, 2012
4.0 4.0 Stars

In this brilliant Cold War political drama set in the GDR in 1980, a doctor, Barbara (the extraordinary Nina Hoss), is exiled from East Berlin to a provincial town by the Baltic Sea because she has requested to move to the West. Once there, her every move is monitored by the local Stasi, who come into her apartment at will, overturning her furniture and checking her body parts. Her claustrophobic life continues at the local hospital, where she is assigned — the handsome doctor (Ronald Zehrfeld) who befriends her and courts her is, very likely, also a Stasi spy.

>> INTERVIEW: Nina Hoss on Barbara <<

Somehow, in this stirring narrative, Barbara manages to keep hold of her principles, and her humanity and courage, and battles to save a dissident teenage girl whose life the Communists are trying to destroy. Filmmaker Christian Petzold was appropriately awarded Best Director at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival. In a perfect world, Nina Hoss would be a 2013 Oscar nominee for Best Actress.

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