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In the aftermath of WWII, Nelly, a Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, horribly disfigured from a bullet wound in her face, undergoes a series of facial reconstruction surgeries and decides to find her husband Johnny who works at the Phoenix club in Berlin. Undoubtedly, Nelly is stunning, yet, her new self is beyond recognition, so Johnny, the man who may have betrayed her to the Nazis, will never imagine that the woman in front of him who bears an uncomfortable and unsettling resemblance to his late wife, is indeed her. Without delay, and with the intention to collect the deceased's inheritance, Nelly will go along with Johnny's plot and she will impersonate the dead woman, giving the performance of a lifetime before friends and relatives in a complex game of deceit, duplicity, and ultimately, seduction. In the end, during this masquerade, as the fragile and broken Nelly tries to find out whether Johnny betrayed her or not, she will have to dig deep into her wounded ... Written by
The final film credit of director/writer/media artist Harun Farocki. Farocki was a former teacher of director Christian Petzold at film school and contributed to several of his screenplays. See more »
She is at the Phoenix bar and sees her husband. He does not recognize her. She runs out home. It is night and pitch dark. As she enters her apartment and her friend asks her if it is all okay, beautiful daylight thru the window. That's bothersome. See more »
There is a plethora of films dealing with the second world war and the holocaust, but relatively few dealing with Germany after the war and the plight of people returning from concentration or prison camps. So I was happy go see Phoenix. The film successfully captures the period, with brusque American occupation soldiers, Berlin reduced to rubble, and people struggling to survive and adapt to new realities. Unfortunately, the story gets bogged down in one implausible plot contrivance after another, which saps it of any dramatic strength despite fine acting. I won't say what these are in the chance that you may see the film. But consider yourself warned.
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