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Phoenix 12 rating

Nina Hoss is superb as concentration camp survivor who assumes a new identity, in Christian Petzold’s intricate post-WWII thriller.

Drama 2014 98 mins

Director: Christian Petzold


Christian Petzold and Nina Hoss collaborate for the fifth time, following the acclaimed Barbara, for another incisive thriller that examines Germany’s 20th-century history. Hoss is superb as the disfigured concentration camp victim who agrees to undergo pioneering facial surgery, changing her appearance significantly.

Her new identity fools former lover Johnny, who fails to recognise her while still retaining his fascination, leading her to become inveigled into a complex scheme with disturbing implications. A forceful work on many levels, Phoenix succeeds as both a dynamic and tense post-WWII thriller and also a layered, intricate drama about personal and national identity.