Christian Petzold’s (Transit, MIFF 2018; Phoenix, MIFF 2014) reimagining of an ancient myth will pull you in with its shadowy undertow.
Undine, a Berlin City Museum historian, meets her boyfriend at their usual café spot, but today is different – he has decided to leave her. This triggers a series of events both suspenseful and supernatural. Just as Undine is racked by thoughts of revenge, she encounters a mysterious stranger and the pair dive into a passionate love affair. Can this new romance wash away the sins of another?
Transit’s Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski reunite in Petzold’s modern take on the mythological water nymph and the unfaithful human she must kill to save her soul. Much like the German auteur’s earlier work, Undine dramatises the plight, and power, of the shackled heroine – a role that Beer brings to life with commanding pathos, and for which she was awarded the 2020 Berlinale’s Silver Bear. But this bewitching erotic thriller goes beyond a woman scorned: events are seemingly orchestrated by unseen mystical forces, evoking the ways in which place and past inevitably taint the present.
“Petzold remains a master of capturing frantic characters doomed by dark obsessions … Much like the Vertigo-inspired Phoenix, Petzold imbues the material with a Hitchcockian build.” – IndieWire