Dir. Christian Petzold, 2014, 99 mins. DCP. With Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf. A spellbinding mystery of identity, illusion, and deception unfolds against the turmoil of postwar Germany in the stunning new film from acclaimed director Christian Petzold (Barbara). Set in Berlin 1945, Phoenix follows Nelly, a Jewish ex-nightclub singer and concentration camp survivor whose face has been horribly disfigured by a bullet wound during the war. After undergoing reconstructive surgery, Nelly emerges with a new face, but rather than reveal herself, she slinks into a dangerous game of duplicity and disguise as she tries to figure out if the man she loves is the same man who betrayed her to the Nazis. Born from the rubble and submerged in the neo-noir gloom of postwar Berlin, Phoenix weaves together a Hitchcockian tale of a nation’s traumatic past and a woman’s search for answers that builds towards an unforgettable, heart-stopping climax.
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