As the award-winning director makes a return this week with the acclaimed thriller 'Transit' - now showing exclusively in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema - rediscover Christian Petzold's gripping study of treachery 'Phoenix'.
Badly injured and with her face destroyed, Auschwitz survivor Nelly returns to her hometown, Berlin in 1945. She is accompanied by Lene, an employee of a Jewish agency and Nelly’s friend from the pre-war days. Having barely recovered from facial surgery, Nelly ignores Lene’s warnings and sets out to find her husband, Johnny – the love of her life who, by refusing to abandon their marriage, protected her from Nazi persecution for so long.
Nelly’s family have been murdered in the Holocaust. Johnny is convinced that his wife, too, is dead. When Nelly finally tracks him down, he recognises nothing but an unnerving resemblance and doesn’t believe it could really be her. Hoping to secure her family’s inheritance, Johnny suggests to Nelly that she take on the identity of his late wife. Nelly agrees, becoming her own imposter. She wants to know whether Johnny loved her, whether he betrayed her - and most of all - she wants her old life back.
★★★★ "A complex mystery of disguise and deceit" - Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian
"A Berlin thriller with hints of Hitchcock and plenty of plot twists" - Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent