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Phoenix

Christian Petzold

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Christian Petzold returns with another story of a fiercely determined woman – and the deeply divided society to which she belongs – caught between a tragic past and an uncertain future. 

Emerging from a concentration camp at the end of the Second World War, Nelly Lenz (played by the formidable Nina Hoss, Petzold's regular star) undergoes significant reconstructive surgery to repair a serious facial injury caused by a bullet wound. Nelly wants everything to be exactly the way it was before the war – including her appearance – but it isn't. Presumed dead by her friends and relatives, fixated on the memories of her former life and unable to accept the shattered reality before her, Nelly returns to Berlin to fulfill the dream that sustained her throughout her imprisonment: reuniting with her husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld). But will Johnny recognise her? And what of the terrible, whispered rumours that it was Johnny himself who betrayed her to the Nazis? 

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