Phoenix

This evocative and haunting drama, set in rubble-strewn Berlin in 1945, is like no other film about post–World War II Jewish-German identity. After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer (Nina Hoss, in a dazzling, multilayered performance) has her disfigured face reconstructed and returns to her war-ravaged hometown to seek out her gentile husband, who may or may not have betrayed her to the Nazis. Without recognizing her, he enlists her to play his wife in a bizarre hall-of-shattered-mirrors story that is as richly metaphorical as it is preposterously engrossing. Revenge film or tale of romantic reconciliation? One doesn’t know until the superb closing scene of this marvel from Christian Petzold, one of the most important figures in contemporary German cinema.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New 2K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between director Christian Petzold and actor Nina Hoss
  • New interview with cinematographer Hans Fromm
  • The Making of “Phoenix,” a 2014 documentary featuring interviews with Petzold, Hoss, actors Nina Kunzendorf and Ronald Zehrfeld, and production designer K. D. Gruber
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Koresky
    New cover by Nessim Higson

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between director Christian Petzold and actor Nina Hoss
  • New interview with cinematographer Hans Fromm
  • The Making of “Phoenix,” a 2014 documentary featuring interviews with Petzold, Hoss, actors Nina Kunzendorf and Ronald Zehrfeld, and production designer K. D. Gruber
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Koresky
    New cover by Nessim Higson
Phoenix
Cast
Nina Hoss
Nelly
Ronald Zehrfeld
Johnny
Nina Kunzendorf
Lene
Imogen Kogge
Elisabeth
Credits
Director
Christian Petzold
Screenplay by
Christian Petzold
Screenplay by
Harun Farocki
Based on motifs from the novel Le retour des cendres by
Hubert Monteilhet
Cinematography
Hans Fromm
Edited by
Bettina Böhler
Produced by
Florian Koerner von Gustorf
Produced by
Michael Weber
Production design by
K. D. Gruber
Costume design by
Anette Guther

From The Current

Nina Hoss and Christian Petzold on Phoenix
Nina Hoss and Christian Petzold on Phoenix

Over the past fifteen years, the German director and actor have worked together on six films, creating dynamic characters that highlight Hoss’s powerful talent.

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Phoenix: Just Be Yourself
Phoenix: Just Be Yourself

In Phoenix, Christian Petzold sets his nuanced melodrama of postwar German-Jewish identity within a starkly realist aesthetic, making newly fascinating use of his enduring interest in the tensions between the real and the artificial.


By Michael Koresky

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This Week on the Criterion Channel
This Week on the Criterion Channel

Orson Welles brings his incomparable charisma to two dark gems, now available to stream on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck. In Hilton Edwards’s short Return to Glennascaul (1951), the actor stars as himself driving through the Irish countryside…

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