Christian Petzold’s Barbara is an elegantly photographed, but fidgety-paced character drama. As an undercurrent of East/West tension ripples below the surface Petzold’s understated direction creates a suffocating atmosphere influenced by conflicting emotion, and impressive performances from Nina Hoss and Ronald Zehrfield. Barbara is a film that moves slow and requires attentiveness. The payoff, which is admittedly moving, doesn’t quite reward the particular build-up.
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