Filmfest 2016

Petzold only needed three weeks to write the first draft of BARBARA and never revised it very much afterward. Quite astonishing for such a finely-constructed film about an East German doctor who applies to leave the Communist country and is banished to the sticks as punishment, a children’s ward on the Baltic Coast. She still dreams of escape, but now she has the Stasi secret police after her in the form of Doctor André Reiser. André is a charmer, but she’s soon on to him. Two difficult cases bond them together, and Barbara has to choose between duty and freedom. A sunny version of East Germany, framed by Petzold’s usual DoP Hans Fromm.

tags: History, Happiness, Love, Feature film

Cast: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Mark Waschke, Rainer Bock


Screenplay: Christian Petzold

Director of Photography: Hans Fromm

Film Editor: Bettina Böhler

Composer: Stefan Will

Production Designer: K.D. Gruber

Costume Design: Anette Guther

Sound: Andreas Mücke-Niesytka

Producer: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber

Production Company: Schramm Film Koerner & Weber

Co-Production Company: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Arte

Distributor: PIFFL MEDIEN GmbH

Director: Christian Petzold

TV channel: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Arte


Christian Petzold was born in Hilden, North Rhine Westphalia, in 1960. He moved to Berlin in 1981, studying German lit and theater studies at the Free University. He graduated in 1989 and went on to study directing at dffb film school, working as assistant director for Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki, and writing film criticism. Petzold shot his graduating film PILOTINNEN 1994. After TV movies CUBA LIBRE and DIE BEISCHLAFDIEBIN he shot his first theatrical film THE STATE I AM IN (2000), a daram about a teen and his parents, who are wanted terrorists. The film won a string of awards, including the German Film Prize in Gold as Best Film. In 2001, Petzold’s collaboration with Nina Hoss began on SOMETHING TO REMIND ME, with whom he went on to shoot a series of films: WOLFSBURG (2003) won the Berlinale FIPRESCI Award and the Adolf Grimme Prize in Gold. Nina Hoss also starred in YELLA (2007), JERICHOW (2009) and BARBARA (2012). He shot an episode of TV three-parter DREILEBEN (2011). Petzold’s latest theatrical film PHOENIX (2013/2014), also starring Nina Hoss, won the International Film Critics’ Award at San Sebastián Film Festival.