The most important exponent of what came to be called the Berlin School – an attempt by international critics to designate a diverse range of filmmakers working in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall – here completes his Gespentser (“Ghosts”) Trilogy with a film that takes its title from the name of its female lead. This portrait of Yella, a woman who leaves East Germany to try her luck in the West, that paradise of “progress”, is equated here with the portrait of a country meeting its other half after many years only to experience, yet more intensely, a collective sense of the inconsummate and non-real. Opening with a bang – a woman emerges from a car accident covered in blood, in a scene that references the classic horror film Carnival of Souls (1962) – and ending with a whimper, Petzold’s camera charts the hollow desires and frustrations haunting the landscape of Europe around the turn of the century, a little before its definitive financial, political, and social transformation.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Christian Petzold
Script: Christian Petzold
Cinematography: Hans Fromm
Editing: Bettina Böhler
Sound: Dirk W. Jacob
Actors: Nina Hoss, Devid Striesow, Hinnerk Schönemann, Burghart Klaußner, Barbara Auer, Christian Redl, Selin Barbara Petzold, Wanja Mues, Michael Wittenborn
Production: Schramm Film Koerner & Weber
Producers: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber
Co-production: ZDF, arte
Costumes: Anette Guther, Lotte Sawatzki
Sets: Kade Gruber
Make Up: Monika Münnich
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Germany
Production Year: 2007
Duration: 90'
Contact: The Match Factory
Awards/Distinctions: Silver Bear for Best Actress, Femina Film Prize – Berlinale 2007, Best Performance by Actress in a Leading Role – German Film Awards 2008, Best Film – German Film Critics Association Awards 2008

Christian Petzold

Born in Hilden, Germany in 1960, Christian Petzold has lived in Berlin since 1981. He studied German and drama at Freie Universität Berlin and then, from 1988 to 1994, film at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). He directed his first feature film in 1995. Made in 2000, his film The State I Am In won Gold at the German Film Awards; he was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director for Barbara in 2012. Undine marks his fifth film to be presented in the Berlinale Competition and, following Transit, his second collaboration with Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski.


2000 The State I Am In
2003 Wolfsburg
2005 Ghosts
2007 Yella
2008 Jerichow
2012 Barbara
2014 Phoenix
2018 Transit
2020 Undine
2023 Afire