Phoenix

Phoenix

DVD - 2016 | German
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Set in a rubble-strewn Berlin in 1945, is like no other film about post-World War II Jewish identity. After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret performer, her face disfigured and reconstructed, returns to her war-ravaged hometown to seek out the gentile husband who may or may not have betrayed her to the Nazis. Without recognizing her, he enlists her to play his wife in a bizarre hall-of-shattered-mirrors story that's as richly metaphorical as it is preposterously engrossing.
Publisher: [New York, New York] :, The Criterion Collection,, [2016]
ISBN: 9781681431390
Branch Call Number: DVD FICTION PHO
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,rda
digital,optical,rda
1 DVD (98 min.)

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c
COURIER3
Jul 19, 2018

Mostly German with sub titles. Some English. I was puzzled by 2 women with entire heads bandaged early on in the film. One was watching the other going down the hall? Thanks to some patrons reviews I was able to make some sense out of what was really going on. Did not understand the friend's suicide...... May have to go back and watch special features.

JCLIanH Jun 29, 2018

You ever see a movie and it grips you from start to finish and haunts you for years? Phoenix is an outstanding piece of filmmaking and hosts one of the best endings in recent film history. Go into this one cold if you can (outside of the basic synopsis so you know what you are getting into).

r
Ron@Ottawa
Jun 09, 2018

The story is set in Berlin in 1945, shortly after the war. The pace of the story is slow, way too slow for me. And the story line lacks credibility. The ending also left many questions unanswered. My hope was initially high but I have to admit I was a tad disappointed.

l
lakeland53
Jun 03, 2018

This was a fascinating film about a woman who was in Auschwich, She comes back into society, and has to rediscover who she is again. What she goes through in order to find herself, and what she does, and her discoveries along the way, are all an integral part of this discovery. German subtitles. Strictly a film of the story, not high action.
I listened to the commentary at the end of the film. This is the third in a series by this husband, (director), and wife, (female lead,) team. Well done.

c
calvoer
May 27, 2018

OK movie. Somehow the husband didn't fit the part and the pretext was not quite believable.

a
anonymouswe
May 25, 2018

I love this movie. It is primarily in German language, subtitled for English language viewers. Nina Hoss was great - you really feel the vulnerability of a woman who has suffered horribly and she is now looking to find love and normalcy in her husband, who may or may not have betrayed her. I generally do not like slow and relationship/dialogue driven movies. This movie is the rare exception. It was phenomenal! The pacing was great, the acting was engrossing and the writing and story were excellent. For all the dreck that has been getting awards lately, this movie deserved an Oscar!

r
Rose21
Mar 09, 2018

I found this move to be disappointing -- creepy, also difficult to believe. What should have been suspense seemed very contrived. I did not enjoy the film.

t
tuaboy
Mar 01, 2018

Very well done about a horrible topic. Have we learned anything yet - the nightly news confirms that we have not.

j
Janice21383
Jul 10, 2017

As voisjoe1_0 says below, a little Vertigo and a little film noir, Phoenix could fit comfortably into the people returning from concentration camps/war/other horrific events sub-genre that was popular in the postwar years, for obvious reasons. After that human catastrophe, every thinking person questioned his identity, and the assumptions of his prewar world. For a slow-paced film, the tension is high, and I would be impressed if you could guess the ending. As for the initial premise: Nina Hoss's transformation is stunning, but the main reason why SPOILER her character's husband does not recognize her is because he does not want to. Of all human forces, denial is one of the strongest.

i
IV27HUjg
Jun 14, 2017

I bought the premise without any weed, although there were times I questioned the method. However, this is not Hollywood, but a respected German director & actors. Prior to viewing I chose the supplement conversation between director/actor for greater explanation. During the film that conversation made sense of the project. I've seen Barbara (same director/actor.)

This subject has troubled me over the years, as to what I'd have done or would have to do. I have very conflicting feelings. Did the husband do the right thing or was it pure self preservation? I had no problem buying the premise that the trauma was true, based on many former documents & reads.

Yes, I really liked it. Not a fast moving film. During the trailer of last scene I missed the key element.

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j
jimg2000
May 31, 2016

Johnny: They want Nelly, not a ragged camp-internee. That's what we're working on here.
Nelly: If I'm coming... someone is bound to ask me what I experienced there, what I...
Johnny: What?
Nelly: How it was there, and I'll need a story.
Johnny: What kind of story?
Nelly: What? Something or other. Like... how we sat on a beam, naked and... went through the clothing of those who had just arrived, while the Kapos stood around us. We had to check for banknotes, or jewels they'd hidden, And then this... girl, this girl... looks at me. She looks at me. This girl looks at me...

j
jimg2000
May 31, 2016

Read after the movie unless you don't mind spoiler possibilities.
===
The rationale or Excuse:
Did you betray Nelly? Sometimes... it's not a real betrayal. You hid her... had to take care of her all that time... Then came arrest and interrogation. Finally you are suddenly released. You hurry to check up on her. You don't notice you're being followed. Then it's too late. You just stand there and there's nothing
you can do. You have to watch Nelly being taken away.

j
jimg2000
May 31, 2016

Read after the movie unless you don't mind spoiler possibilities.
===
Lene: Do you know what disgusts me? We Jews wrote, sang and slaved... went to war for Germany, yet we were gassed, one and all. And now the survivors return and forgive. The gassing ceases and we forgive... all counts of cowardice and treachery.
===
Lene's letter: Dear Nelly, I told you there is no way back for us. But for me there's no way forwards, either. I feel more drawn to our dead than to our living. ...
===
Nelly: What would I do in a Jewish choir?
Lene: I'm not a Jew. You are, like it or not. They tried to kill you because you're a Jew.

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