It can’t be overstated as to how subtle this film is. Like a puzzle or an enigma you are given clues as to what is happening and has happened, and who each person is in the story and what their significance is. It just takes on e further piece of information for that all to change, rather like the game Go really. The board can change from black to white, or vice versa with the introduction of piece in a particular place at a particular time. Maybe that is the best way for there to be more showing and less telling. The thing is as well here is that even when people do tell, you’re not entirely sure that they’re telling the truth.
Such is the world in Barbara, a film set in
in 1980. We are not in East Germany ; we are in the provinces, away from the bright lights and the big decisions. The eponymous Barbara is a hospital doctor and we see her start a job in a new hospital, somewhat under a cloud. As I said we are left to discover how she got to get where she is, somewhat. She as well is less than happy and not too easy to trust at the beginning of the film. Berlin
We see as the film progresses that Barbara is subject to her flat and herself being searched by the police. It is these goings on that explains her nature and how she would not fully trust someone that she has only just met. We know now how insidious the workings of the Stasi were in
and we also know about how ordinary people were only to willing to inform on their friends and neighbours. I don’t know what it says about human nature when you hear that in a large number of cases this was done without a tangible reward. East Germany
The message from this film is all about choices and how those choices can give you a certain amount of freedom. It’s also about how people can enact change not just by change what’s around them by changing themselves as well. Sometimes for things and prospects to change perspective and position needs to change as well, maybe sometimes as well it’s only the slightest change that is required. I urge you to see this film.