Children of Vertigo: Phoenix

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Germany | 2014 | 98 minutes | Christian Petzold

March 24, 2020

Children of Vertigo

Nelly (Nina Hoss), a German-Jewish nightclub singer, has survived a concentration camp, but with her face disfigured by a bullet wound. After undergoing reconstructive surgery, Nelly emerges with a new face, one similar but different enough that her former husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), doesn't recognize her.

Rather than reveal herself, Nelly walks into a dangerous game of duplicity and disguise as she tries to figure out if the man she loves may have been the one who betrayed her to the Nazis. Evoking the shadows and haunted mood of post-war Berlin, Phoenix weaves a complex tale of a nation's tragedy and a woman's search for answers as it builds towards an unforgettable, heart-stopping climax.

"A haunting, morbidly romantic melodrama with obvious links to Vertigo, but from a reverse angle."—David Edelstein, New York Magazine

  • Director: Christian Petzold
  • Principal Cast: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Megan Gay, Valerie Koch, Nina Kunzendorf
  • Country: Germany
  • Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes
  • Producer: Michael Weber, Florian Koerner von Gustorf
  • Screenplay: Christian Petzold
  • Cinematographers: Hans Fromm
  • Language: German, English
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Rating: PG-13