Director: Christian Petzold, colour, 108 min., 2012
About nine years before the fall of the Wall: Barbara, a doctor from Berlin, applies for an exit permit from the GDR. She is arrested and transferred to a provincial hospital after her release in the summer of 1980. While her lover prepares for her escape to the West via the Baltic Sea, Barbara works as a paediatric surgeon, under frequent observation and controls.
Her new boss André appears to be cooperating with the state security employees - but how far would he go if a serious case were to occur? He does, at least, seem to approve of Barbara’s commitment to the young outsider, Stella. Is he in love with his colleague? On the day of her escape, Barbara makes an only somewhat surprising decision. Christian Petzold’s film, awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012, is a quiet, unexcited film with great attention to detail thus offering a very exact picture of life in the GDR - far removed from any ideological discourse.