I can’t think of a film with a more apt title than Writer/Director Christian Petzhold’s Phoenix, nor a film with a better final shot.
This is a haunting film about a holocaust survivor (Nina Hoss), who was so disfigured by beatings in her prison camp that reconstruction has made her unrecognizable even to her husband (Ronald Zehrfeld), for whom she is searching…and may have betrayed her to the Nazis.
While Hoss is outstanding in this production, kudos also have to go to Nina Kunzendorf, her plays the friend, who is trying to help with her rehabilitation and have her go to the budding Jewish land in Palestine.
Cinematographer Hans Fromm, Editor Bettina Böhler, Composer Stefan Will and Production Designer Kade Gruber all deserve high praise for this sad, but, ultimately, redemptive film.
I give Phoenix 4.8 out of 5.