Barbara - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Barbara Reviews

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½ November 9, 2014
A well produced film with an interesting and unusual story line. It was still difficult to keep my attention for the duration of the movie.
November 7, 2014
The only thing we learn from this movie is how unfortunate it was living in a post WW2 Soviet East Germany. Duh! Barbara is simplistic and predictible. character development is weak and unbelievable. But. There is always the history lesson.
½ October 28, 2014
Met name hoofdrolspeelster ijzersterk. Door haar blijf je kijken.
½ August 4, 2014
Great movie with feeling. Had a good bit of suspense, but I really like being transported to 1980 East Germany and experiencing life in a provincial town. Nina Hoss does a great job depicting someone beaten down by the oppressive regime, yet caring enough of her duty to help people that she reviles.

A bonus for me as a automobile enthusiast, the cars seemed to really put the film in the period.
July 5, 2014
An interesting story that explores the ennui of love, work, and politico estrangement.
½ June 9, 2014
An interesting psychological movie. It made me angry though because I can't watch movies about oppressive governments and the lengths people must go through to escape them. Nobody should have to live like that.
May 19, 2014
this film kept my interest throughout & would recommend it to those who like well made Non-English foreign dramas!
½ May 8, 2014
As doctors with something to hide, the main characters of Barbara remain subtle and subversive throughout the movie. Who should you trust in this small town, including the doctors? Traces of humanity of pulled from the most surprising of places, making this an intriguing film worthy of more than one viewing.
May 6, 2014
Great movie and great performance by Nina Hoss. I love how such a dramatic story and circumstances are presented in a subtle way.
April 19, 2014
Really great movie. Great story
½ April 19, 2014
Spoiler alert!
The movie is set in Eastern Germany during the Cold War period in 1980. Barbara, a medical doctor has been downgraded from her prestigious position at the Charite in Berlin to a provincial hospital.
What I liked in the movie was the cinematography which captured the subtle beauty of the German countryside in the north east. The oppressive atmosphere due to the constant surveillance was depicted perfectly. Although the German artsy scene might not mind the slow moving, minimalistic character of the movie, the audience in North America might be less forgiving. It is quite a stretch to sell this movie as a thriller.
Barbara is played as standoffish and quiet. It is hard to judge if Nina Hoss did a good job, because of the limited range of the character. Unfortunately, in Germany, all that seems required to be perceived as a strong female character is to smoke heavily, say little, be skinny, against authority and drawn to American culture. It still does not hurt to be blond by the way.
The movie leaves too much to the viewer to figure out, especially for an international audience that might not have experienced the cold war and has little knowledge about the history of post war Germany. A lot of the message is lost.
Superficially one might think that Barbara gave up her freedom by staying in Eastern Germany, because of her altruism. Barbara changed her mind at the last meeting with her boyfriend, when she had to choose between the life of a housewife in the West with unlimited shopping opportunities (as symbolized by the mail order catalogue shown to her) and her status as an educated, independent woman working as a physician in an oppressed state. In fact, women in the West in the 1980s were ?encouraged? to go back to their traditional roles as housewives especially after the election of the conservative government under Helmut Kohl. Maybe Barbara chose freedom after all.
April 4, 2014
This is a small, low budget German drama. It was very well done. The story is set in Communist East Germany circa 1980. A woman doctor, Barbara (Nina Hoss), applies to emigrate to West Germany. She loses her job at a prestigious East Berlin hospital. Then, she is arrested and jailed for some period of time. After she is released, she is banished to a small, rural, provincial hospital. The East German secret police, the Stasi, keep an eye on her. They follow her. They visit regularly. Her apartment is searched. Our heroine is subjected to body searches.

Her West German lover manages to secretly visit her in East Germany. Plans are made for Barbara to escape.

Barbara's life is complicated by a male doctor, co-worker, Reiser (Ronald Zehrfeld). He has apparently come to work in a provincial hospital for similar negative reasons. He comes to admire and be attracted to Barbara.

The story held my interest. There were involving twists and turns. This is a good little movie; good, not great.

This movie is worth a look.
½ March 12, 2014
Quietly thoughtful piece on life and liberty, and nicely filmed.
½ February 28, 2014
Fascinating movie. Interesting the conditions under Communist East Germany
½ February 4, 2014
a RDA o milagre do comunismo acabou há tão pouco tempo pena que poucos se recordem, este filme trata a opressão comunista de maneira provocante e silenciosa.
½ January 30, 2014
German. Set in the cold war. A woman trying to make it out of East Germany.
January 27, 2014
Despite the seeming subtlety, I was in thrall for over two hours.
November 26, 2013
Set in the rural countryside of communist East Germany in 1981, Barbara is the story of a doctor who has been moved to the outskirts of civilization as a reprimand for having tried to find employment in West Berlin in a time when that thought was inconceivable and punishable by law. The doctor is Barbara who is in love with a businessman from West Berlin whom she meets from time to time when he is allowed to do business outside of the wall in Berlin. They hope to find a way to get Barbara to freedom so that they can be together ... although this isn't easy as Barbara is needed quite often at the rural hospital where she has been placed and she is also watched rather closely by government agents who will oftentimes check in on her and perform cavity searches -- because communists can do this. She has a few patients that rely heavily on her and she befriends another young doctor who has been placed at her same hospital ... so she begins to realize her freedom will come at a cost to others. Barbara is a VERY slow moving film but it is rather well-made. It takes some time for one to become accustomed to the film's pace but the story kept my interest even though little happens from scene to scene. It builds some tension as the film nears its conclusion even though the pacing never really picks up. That is rather surprising ... as this little film surprised me. I didn't expect much out of this ... and there isn't much to Barbara; but it is still a rather good film. It is always interesting looking back into time at another place and culture -- and late Cold War-era East Germany has always intrigued me. Barbara shows there was heart and warmth in this cold era.
November 23, 2013
Sad & Beautiful :-(
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