Yella is estranged from her possessive and violent husband; but he can't quite bring himself to give her up. When their fraught interaction finally comes to dramatic conclusion, Yella's life takes an odd shift.
Christian Petzold's drama deals with a woman, who leaves her hometown for a promising job and a new life, but is haunted by the truths of the past. As her marriage to Ben broke and her professional career has no future in her native town in the Eastern part of Germany, Yella has decided to search for a job in the West. When she gets to know Philipp, a smart executive at a private equity company in Hanover, she becomes his assistant and gets involved into the world of ruthless and big business. Realizing her dreams could come true with Philipp's help, she starts hearing voices and sounds from her past, which menace her new and better life...Written by
Petzold is a very controlled and composed film-maker. In this film, as in GESPENSTER, he uses this almost forensic calm and diurnal realism to explore metaphysical issues. So this film, which ostensibly takes place in the aggressive financial world of mergers and acquisitions, is also a film about death, the soul, and guilt. It is a great challenge to look at these intangible themes through the prism of a very tangible, concrete world - but this Petzold does achieve, with beautifully composed and controlled imagery, and even a nice line in wry, ironic humour. There are some great performances in the film - they draw you part of the way in, but nevertheless there is still some distance between viewer and film. This maybe results in a slightly cold viewing experience, but the film has stayed with me long after its end - it is a complex and highly rewarding work, if mainly in retrospect.
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