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Flash Movie Review: Barbara

COMPASSION AND COMPENTENCY GO HAND in hand in making a person a well rounded employee. Where it used to be the norm for me, now when I experience someone displaying these attributes it is more of a surprise. I know, isn’t this a sad state of affairs? There was a time where I could walk up to a salesperson and ask where something was located and they would walk me to the item. Now they barely leave their place and tell me the item “is over there.” Over there?! Where is there? This is what makes up part of the workforce. If you think that is bad, I used to work at a company that had an actual human being answering the switchboard. The only problem was she tended to be high on drugs most of the time. She would wear these large, owlish glasses with tinted lenses so it was hard to see her eyes clearly; but she would drop acid at her desk, smoke a joint on her break or pop pills during her lunch. If she did not like the way a person was talking to her on the phone she would disconnect them. And would you believe she lasted a couple of years at the job?!?!?     AS FAR AS I CAN tell no one should ever talk down to another person. I find it to be so rude. Here you are asking someone to explain something to you and they are talking to you like you are a little child. Or I love when you discover something for yourself and there is someone there who lets you know they already knew about it or feign shock that you did not know such a basic thing; some people just do not think about what they are saying. I had a friend tell me about a doctor who after getting the results of a biopsy told the patient she would need to have her breast removed. Cut and dry, there was no discussion or asking if there were any options; he simply told her to make arrangements for surgery and left the exam room. I found the doctor’s behavior absolutely heartless and would have immediately sought out a 2nd opinion and a new doctor. How hard would it have been to show a little compassion for the patient? I guess this is one of the reasons why I enjoyed watching this drama—a doctor who showed compassion.     AS PUNISHMENT FOR WANTING TO leave Barbara, played by Nina Hoss (A Most Wanted Man, Phoenix), was reassigned to a rural hospital in the country of East Germany. Under constant watch she was not convinced her boss Andre, played by Ronald Zehrfeld (The People vs. Fritz Bauer, In the Face of Crime-TV), was just another spy to report on her. This film festival winning foreign movie also starred Rainer Bock (The White Ribbon, Wonder Woman) as Klaus Schutz and Christina Hecke (Collide, Pink) as the intern Schulze. Set in the 1980s I found this story an interesting character study; Nina’s acting was quiet yet powerful. Despite the harsh atmosphere of the settings or maybe a better description would be dreary, I found the story kept my interest by the way the characters interacted; especially with this authoritarian overview while doctors are trying to heal their patients. It was an interesting mix. As for the action all of it was of the low key type; the word I would use would be smoldering. This was pretty much a simple, straight forward, compassionate movie.

 

 

3 stars — DVD

 

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Flash Movie Review: Phoenix

The more time spent with a person the less one notices any changes taking place. I have noticed this especially when it comes to the physical aspect of a person. In regards to the emotional and intelligence areas, you would think the longer you know a person the better you understand them; I certainly have believed this to be true. But I have to tell you the more I see and hear about people’s infidelity, transgressions and even crimes; the more I am at a loss for words because I cannot process it. What happens that causes a person in a long term relationship to suddenly start cheating on their significant other? Or these news shows that profile a married couple where one of them murders the other one? Stuff like this shakes my belief that 2 people can live happily ever after. I am the first to admit I have trust issues based on what has happened to me in my life; you think you know someone and it turns out you really do not, at least in my case. Though my philosophy may cause more hurt feelings for me, I choose to believe what people are telling me is true until they prove it otherwise. I cannot tell you how many times where I started dating someone who agreed with my definition of an exclusive relationship, yet I find out they had cheated on their previous partners. And do not get me started on some of the other things I have seen people do in a relationship; it can be frightening.    LEFT for dead with a disfigured face Nelly Lenz, played by Nina Hoss (A Most Wanted Man, Barbara), with the help of Lene Winter, played by Nina Kunzendorf (Woman in Gold, Unspoken), not only survived the German concentration camps but also facial reconstruction surgery. Her goal was to find her husband Johnny Lenz, played by Ronald Zehrfeld (Inbetween Worlds, Barbara), who was no where to be found when the Germans took her away. This film festival winning drama was utterly captivating to me. With no prior knowledge about this mystery movie, I not only thought the filming of it was beautiful but that the script had elements of tenderness, longing and surprise. The story was set in Berlin after the war which I found made it more interesting to see how people were picking up the pieces of their lives while recalling past events. I thought the director did a wonderful job of letting the actors talk using nonverbal cues; luckily the actors were quite skilled in achieving this method of communication. I found this film fascinating and was surprised to find out my initial thoughts about the characters were not totally accurate. Maybe it is harder than you think to really know someone. German was spoken with English subtitles.

 

3 1/2 stars

 

 

 

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