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1,903 Ratings


Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, 2014


After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer, her face disfigured and reconstructed, returns to her war-ravaged town to find a husband who may or may not have betrayed her. Without recognising her, he asks her to help him claim his wife’s inheritance. She agrees, becoming her own doppelganger.

Phoenix Directed by Christian Petzold
Classical form in cinema still has its uses. Petzold’s survivor tragedy tells a story that’s squalid and irrational in equal measure, and tells it with measured, masterly detachment. Killer ending.
December 18, 2015
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Phoenix is so strong in its particulars that by the time the final scene comes (and it is a doozy) you have been waiting for something like this, hoping for something like this, the tension of Hoss’ performance is so great, with its silent quivering unbearable withholding … and yet the reality of the final moment, as it unfolds, as Hoss and Zehrfeld perform it, what actually happens, in other words, is far more powerful and heart-stopping than anything you or I could dream up.
August 26, 2015
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Truly elevating the pulpy source material, Petzold swirls the pot of suspense, revenge and guilt with not only a Hitchcockian but also a Fassbinderian touch. Films don’t get more psychologically complex than this.
September 08, 2014
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