Magazine article New Internationalist

Phoenix

Magazine article New Internationalist

Phoenix

Article excerpt

Phoenix (98 minutes) directed and written by Christian Petzold

What does incarceration in an extermination camp, and overwhelming loss - of innocence, trust, love, friends, family - do to a person? Nelly, a cabaret singer before the War, shambles through the ruins of Allied-occupied Berlin. Her face, shattered by a fleeing camp guard's rifle blast, is veiled. She's looking for her one-time piano accompanist and husband Johnny - the man who might be able to reconnect her to her lost life.

She's lodging with staunch, tough Lene, now working for the Jewish Agency, recording the dead, tracing and helping survivors. She tells Nelly, a German Jew, that it was her beloved Johnny, a 'pure-blooded' German, who had betrayed her to the Gestapo.

Lene plans to leave for Palestine. She wants Nelly to go too, but Nelly stumbles across Johnny. …

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