“Barbara,” Germany’s haunting 2012 Oscar entry, is Christian Petzold’s fifth collaboration with luminous actress Nina Hoss. She plays an intrepid East Berlin doctor in 1980 who has been sent to the boonies as punishment for wanting to leave the country. Like everyone around her, she lies to survive; she sneaks around in the night to meet her West German lover in the woods. But she cares for her patients; that bonds her with her charismatic fellow doctor (up-and-comer Ronald Zehrfeld). Even though she’s surrounded by fear, suspicion and paranoia, she comes to trust him.
I put the film, which won Petzold the Silver Bear in Berlin, on my ten best list last year, as did both New York Times film critics, Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott. The film had its US premiere at the New York Film Festival in 2012, followed by a theatrical release by Adopt Films, which is releasing “Barbara” via Kino Lorber on Blu-ray and DVD on November 12th.