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Barbara (2012) (Blu-Ray)

Nina Hoss , Ronald Zehrfeld , Christian Petzold    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
Price: £31.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Rainer Bock, Christina Hecke, Claudia Geisler
  • Directors: Christian Petzold
  • Producers: Barbara (2012) (Blu-Ray), Barbara (2012)
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Run Time: 100.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,295 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Germany released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: German ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), German ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), German ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Booklet, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Summer, 1980. Barbara, a doctor, has applied for an exit visa from the GDR (East Germany). Now, as punishment, she has been transferred from Berlin to a small hospital out in the country, far from everything. Jörg, her lover from the West, is already planning her escape. Barbara waits, keeping to herself. The new apartment, the neighbors, summertime, the countryside - none of that means anything to her. Working as a pediatric surgeon under her new boss Andre, she is attentive when it comes to the patients, but quite distanced toward her colleagues. Her future, she feels, will begin later. But Andre confuses her. His confidence in her professional abilities, his caring attitude, his smile. Why does he cover for her when she helps the young runaway Sarah? Does he have an assignment to keep track of her? Is he in love? But as the day of her planned escape quickly approaches, Barbara starts to lose control. Over herself, her plans, over love. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, ...Barbara (2012) (Blu-Ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "This is where I seperate." 30 Dec 2012
By Sam Woodward TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It was inevitable that this compelling film of rural life under the watchful eye of the Stasi would be compared to The Lives of Others, another German movie which explores similar themes. Yet they are in essence very different - Barbara is much less dramatic, yet the moral choices the titular character is presented with are far less clear cut. A doctor stationed to the East German countryside in 1980, Barbara keeps her colleagues at a distance. This is because she is unsure if any of them are keeping an eye on her for the secret police, which would ruin her plans to escape the country with her West German boyfriend. But how long can anyone maintain their distance from other people? Meanwhile, she has patients to care for at the hospital, which presents her with another dilemma - how can she balance her duties against her own desires to escape?

Barbara is a charming & atmospheric film, which will no doubt have viewers who are used to more fast-paced Hollywood movies reaching for the fast-forward button. Personally, I enjoyed every minute although once the scene had been set & I could see which direction it was taking, there were few surprises. Nevertheless, it addressed some interesting questions, as well as being beautifully crafted by the creators behind the lens & the actors in front of it. Recommended for anyone who prefers the more leisurely pace of European cinema to the usual Hollywood cliches.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Closely Observed Life 21 Jan 2013
By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As the majority of reviewers, and the Amazon site have already summarised the plot, I'd like to concentrate on the direction, script, acting, and camerawork of this haunting portrayal of surveillance. Although the initial tone is chilly, reflected by Barbara's apparently cold & remote character, sparse dialogue, and the restricted action of the plot, this is a successful portrayal of a small-town society in the grip of a life of shortage and surveillance.

The colour tones of the film have the same washed-out tones of yellow, ochre and brown (even the grass seems bleached), and this seems to leach into the limited and resigned hopes of the limited group of central characters. In 1980's East Germany, hospital facilities as well as cigarettes are in limited supply, and Barbara's boss's 'laboratory' is a very modest home-made facility indeed.

In a society where even an innocent conversation might be used to convict you, characters are sparing with what they have to say, and this adds a greater emotional intensity, and air of mystery to the drama, most chillingly where Barbara has to endure regular intimate body searches, as part of the local police systematic searching of her very basic flat.

Increasingly, this nerve-wracking and repetitive endurance, reduces characters to an almost sleep-drunk robotic state, which is very well captured in the film's superbly understated acting. The theme of having to endure through personal sacrifice becomes explicit in the film's powerfully moving finale.

Though 'Barbara' is harder to warm to than the superb
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Barbara" (2012 release from Germany; 105 min.) brings the story of a female doctor, Barbara (played by Nina Hoss), in a provincial town in East Germany in 1980. It appears Barbara had applied for an exit visa so as to leave the country, and as a result was demoted from a prestigious hospital in Berlin to now work in the country side. Barbara has a lover, some well to-do guy in West Germany who sends her money so as to prepare things for her to escape East Germany illegally. All the while, Barbara gets to know Andre (played by Ronald Zehrfeld), a colleague doctor who also has been sidetracked (but for different reasons we later learn) in the country side. Right away from the very start Andre has a crush on Barbara, and is trying to charm her non-stop. As all of this is happening, Barbara takes a special interest in Stella, a teenage girl who has escaped from a nearby youth labor camp and suffers from various ailments. To tell you more about the plot would ruin your viewing experience. You'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out. I will say that I did not see the end coming at all, so you are in for a surprise!

Several comments: the movie does a great job depicting life in East Germany in the early 80s. Pay close attention to the scenery in the small town where Barbara is working, and notice how stark everything is. Cars are far and few between, and the living conditions are pretty dull, if not grim. In between we also notice the never-ending political pressure that existed in East Germany, where everyone and anyone could be spying on you on behalf of the Stazi (the East German state security agency).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Christian Petzold's Barbara may not have been too low key make it on to the Oscar shortlist - it was Germany's official submission for this year's awards - but it's an understated and quietly compelling look at life in East Germany that doesn't fall back on clichés or sensationalisation. Barbara (Nina Hoss) is the new nurse in a rural hospital. She's a cold, distant figure who avoids getting close with her colleagues, but with good reason: since being banished from the prestigious Berlin hospital she used to work at for applying for an exit visa, she's under constant suspicion from both the Stasi and her co-workers and can't afford friendship or trust offered by Ronald Zehrfeld's head of the clinic - especially since she's planning to escape to be with her West German lover and he's almost certainly submitting reports on her. But despite her caution she finds herself having to re-evaluate who she can trust and what her priorities are.

It's a small, unshowy film that makes no play for sympathy with its aloof and at times barely communicative heroine, but it's all the better for it. Hoss and Zehrfeld (think a German Russell Crowe without the anger management issues) are both quietly impressive and naturalistic as the two opposites whose threatened attraction is stifled by the constant atmosphere of mistrust. That that atmosphere is so tangible is largely because it's so matter of fact it goes uncommented on and because it doesn't trivialise the oppression by offering cartoonish villains: even the security man who sporadically searches her apartment is allowed a moment where his human vulnerabilities are exposed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very watchable
I liked this film, well acted a drama that enfolded through to the end.. which could have gone any way.. I myself would have ended it differently.. Read more
Published 2 months ago by N M flymo
4.0 out of 5 stars Love story against the background of state surveillance.
Barbara is relegated to the sticks by the state because she "rocked the boat". As a doctor she works in a rural hospital with a co-worker and is regular subjected to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars The District Doctor
A very effective account of life under Communist rule in East Germany. The constant surveillance, the daily life of small pleasures and major indignities, and the lack of material... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Charles Vasey
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough film, but....
... sadly nowhere near as good as The Lives Of Others.

It's the story of a young female doctor who is posted from the bright lights of the big city (East Berlin) to a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by JoJo2
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle And Perceptive Film-making
German Christian Petzold’s 2012 film Barbara is a subtle, slow-moving and brilliantly acted tale of Nina Hoss’ title character, a doctor who, given her desire to leave the country... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Keith M
4.0 out of 5 stars A good film spoiled by false expectations raised by money hungry...
The poorer reviews here often refer to the film in comparison to "The Lives of Others", unsurprising given the front cover declaims it is a must see for people who loved... Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow but with a thought provoking end
This sort of movie would never come out of Hollywood and was clearly made on a low budget but the story line is quaint and the acting excellent. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lamu Hermit
4.0 out of 5 stars "Rarely graceful mystery..."
German screenwriter and director Christian Petzold`s sixth feature film which he co-wrote with Czech-born German screenwriter, producer and director Harun Farocki, premiered In... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sindri
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having been glued to "The Lives of Others" (fabulous - MUST SEE) when I read reviews for this which touted it as its natural successor I had high hopes. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Caro on the couch
2.0 out of 5 stars problems with subtitles poor sound
I had previously seen this movie which I enjoyed. However this was limited watching the DVD. The sound was poor and the bottom lines of the subtitles were not visible.
Published 6 months ago by Emma Starr
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