This will be brief. I plan on a future post exploring this film more fully, but for now I urge you to watch Christian Petzold’s Phoenix (2014), a movie now streaming on Netflix.
The time is 1945. Nelly (Nina Hoss) is a Jewish cabaret singer who has survived the horrors of Auschwitz, although with a disfigured face. After reconstructive surgery, she returns to Berlin to find her Gentile husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) who may or may not have betrayed her to the Nazis. Although he won’t recognize her post-surgery, she’ll recognize him.
That’s all I’m going to tell you about the film, other than it’s amazing, multi-layered, brilliantly acted, and…. I must stop. Phoenix is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. (It might just be the best.)
Although Phoenix was released in 2014, it didn’t come to U.S. theaters until Summer 2015. In addition to being available on Netflix, Criterion released Blu-ray and DVD editions of the film in April 2016. This immediately goes to the top of my “to buy” list. You may feel the same way after watching it. Again, look for a full review in the near future (after I’ve watched the Criterion Blu-ray).