Previously at the ICA - Films

Phoenix, dir. Christian Petzold (film still)


8 May 201524 May 2015

Her face disfigured by her experiences in Auschwitz, Nelly, a Jewish singer, travels with her friend Lena to post-war Berlin to undergo reconstructive surgery.

After the bandages are finally removed, Nelly searches for her pianist husband Johnny, who Lena suspects betrayed Nelly to the Nazis. They eventually track him down in the nightclub that gives the film its title, but Johnny doesn’t recognise Nelly. He notices only a passing resemblance and asks her to impersonate the wife he believes is dead, in an attempt to claim her family inheritance. Prominent German writer-director Christian Petzold’s tensely measured film builds to an achingly moving finale. He again casts Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Hoss – the stars of his multi-award-winning 2012 film Barbara.

Phoenix, dir. Christian Petzold, Germany/Poland 2014, 98 mins., German with English subtitles.

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