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Petzold’s new feature is an intense Cold War story that deftly negotiates the personal and the political. It is the summer of 1980 and young doctor Barbara (played by the excellent Nina Hoss) has requested an exit visit from the GDR. Punished by the authorities for her desire to leave for the West, Barbara is sent to work out in the sticks, far from the capital. It is in this rural hospital that Barbara meets Andre, her puzzling new boss and Stella, the young runaway whom she is desperate to protect.

The latest collaboration between the director and star of Yella presents a very different view of the Eastern Bloc and, as has come to be expected of this exceptional filmmaker, is a finely nuanced drama.