Barbara - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Barbara Reviews

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November 30, 2017
Slow and quiet but rather too ponderous.
October 3, 2017
Many aspects of the film are well judged, and the film as a whole is excellent for a significant portion, but (SPOILER ALERT) plot contrivance landed the film with a dull thud for me, betraying the more complex aspects of certain relationship dynamics (or the representation of same.)
October 2, 2017
Cold and estranged as the climate in East Germany during the Soviet reign and sulky as the cool weather near the Baltic Sea this film is a small episode from the life of a woman called Barbara who lives under the Stasi supervision. She secretly sees her lover from West Germany who is planning her escape. But while she is adamant on leaving the hated place some new acquaintances she has made during her work in a local hospital make her rethink several points.
½ July 17, 2017
I watched it when it had just come out on a long international flight. I couldn't watch anything else afterwards. The echoes of a film, a cinema so well done stay with one and I thought about each and every glance and words not spoken, the atmosphere. It is set in East Germany, pace is subtle and a lot is left for the viewer to discern for themselves. And it is a romance, although it is not something the film is focused on but the inevitability of it reinforces that thing we know of life-- things happen and you have no control over them.
Wonderful cinematic experience.
½ April 15, 2017
East Germany gestapo keeps an eye open for a doctor, moved out of Berlin to a small town, and with spying behavior. It is a story of characters that develops well, and that develops as I would have guessed. No shockers here, except maybe to learn that germans might have feelings. Then again, the main characters are physicians. We hope that at least some of them have them, feelings.
February 11, 2017
Slow and thoughtful. As though we were watching the heroine examine her life.
½ January 10, 2017
A lovely film with a fantastic performance from Hoss, so good that it didn't feel like acting. It lasts for 105 minutes, but was so good I could have sat through another 105 minutes.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2016
A subtle romance with a historical context and great performances, blending love and politics in an engaging story that also explores the curious contrast between the vivid landscape of East Germany's countryside and the sad universe the protagonist is forced to live in.
½ July 9, 2016
Not a bad film considering almost nothing happens
½ April 19, 2016
3 1/2 ud af 5 Trabanter. Langsomt, men stemningsfuldt og velfortalt supplement til "Das Leben der Anderen"s fortælling om Østtysklands frygt og elendighed. Nina Hoss fra "En kvinde i Berlin" er som sædvanlig fremragende, og Petzolds film er altid interessante.
January 1, 2016
An interesting, politically subdued thriller. Barbara its a strong, complex character and Nina Hoss proves once again to be an exceptional actress.
October 21, 2015
This is a very good movie about living in East Germany when you don't want to be there -- the hostility, perceived or real, the spying, perceived or real, and the people around you and how they are coping.
September 22, 2015
this movie was filmed well but it's pretty slow paced, after watching it for 40 minutes not much had really happened, and decided not to watch an other hr of it. may try watching again some other time.
½ September 20, 2015
"Barbara" is a German film by director Christian Petzold about a woman doctor living in East Berlin, under control of the Soviet allied government before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In a terrific performance by actress Nina Hoss, Barbara is very talented doctor, but is being punished for trying to go to the west. The job she's placed in is quite undesirable, and she live under continual harassment from the Stasi secret police, one officer of which is particularly harsh on her, so it's understandable quite mistrustful of strangers. But even so she dedicates herself to her patients, as much as she can within the societies confines. She wants very much to keep trying to go a freer Europe.

The relationships Barbara has with her new supervisor Andre, who might have more than one motive to be near to her, is truly fascinating and complex, and I would say the best part of film. She wants to distance herself from him and her other colleagues at first, for reasons which are later justified, but also finds she cannot isolate herself either. She has emotional connections with a few patients, she treats, one of which is a particularly disturbing case of a girl who ran away from a work camp who's initially difficult to the other doctors but Barbara finds a way to connect. At home she's usually alone, unless there's a terrifying surprise visit from the Stasi. But she has engagements elsewhere other than home or hospital that show the full range of a woman she is.

If this isn't on the level of the a few other modern masterpieces about east European life behind the Iron Curtain in the last decade of the Soviet Union-I'm thinking of "The Lives of Others", and "4 Month 3 Week & 2 Days"-it's a extremely admirable and smart one that comes close, which shows human desires in the face of repression and the fear one lives under in such society. It's part thriller with romantic elements, but more so it's a human look the interaction between several different individuals in this society where ones fated role dictated by the society can be very hard to escape.
September 20, 2015
well-acted,well-directed
½ August 5, 2015
Sencilla y profundamente emotiva. Muy recomendable!
½ July 18, 2015
A subtle yet poignant portrayal of life in East Germany
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2015
The East German secret police had a reputation for brutality in supporting the communist regime. Here within the tranquility of a country setting, the politics surrounding a nurse banished from the big City is disturbing and yet fascinating to behold.
May 9, 2015
Loved this. Entertaining but still complex. Wonderful film.
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