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.
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In 1980s East Germany, Barbara is a Berlin doctor banished to a country medical clinic for applying for an exit visa. Deeply unhappy with her reassignment and fearful of her co-workers as possible Stasi informants, Barbara stays aloof, especially from the good natured clinic head, Andre. Instead, Barbara snatches moments with her lover as she secretly prepares to defect one day. Despite her plans, Barbara learns more about her life that puts her desires and the people around her in a new light. With her changing perspective, Barbara finds herself facing a painful moral dilemma that forces her to choose what she values.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Torgau workhouse to which Stella is sent is the Torgau Juvenile Detention Centre. The Centre, which ran from 1964 to 1989, was for the "re-education" of young people aged 14 to 18. Inmates had committed no crimes, but were deemed to need education so that they could fit in with the norms of socialist life in East Germany. See more »
Andre hands Barbara a cup of coffee, which she promptly drops. You see the shattered pieces of the cup on the floor, but no coffee. See more »
It looks like THE LIVES OF OTHERS is going to spearhead a cycle of films about victims of the East German secret police and that sounds like a good subject along the lines of the US conspiracy thrillers. This one has an interesting enough premise. Out of favor doctor Hoss (THE WHITE MASSAI) is sent to a provincial hospital, where the friendly fellow medico may be keeping a report on her. The official who keeps on calling in the lady with the rubber glove to do cavity searches certainly is.
The sub-plot of the teenage girl from the socialist work camp is strong enough but the way things are wound up is not all that convincing and tension has slacked by then.
Production values are good enough but the film lacks the feeling of time and place that would make it register.
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