Does a Film Mirror America's Future? A Review of Barbara

The horrors of living in communist East Germany in the 1980s are subtly and exquisitely conveyed in the 2012 German drama Barbara, written and directed by Christian Petzold.  Watching this film, I was reminded of Eva Hoffman's introduction to Exit into History, wherein she writes: And if story is closer to history in Eastern Europe, it's also closer to moral drama-for it was another of the system's accomplishments that it forced people to make difficult, risky, ethical choices often and under considerable pressure. Having been transferred because she filed an "Ausreiseantrag" expressing her wish to leave the German Democratic Republic, the doctor protagonist, Barbara, is sent by the state to a small hospital near the Baltic Sea, effectively ending her career at the prestigious Charite in East Berlin.  The viewer sees the impoverishment of doctors who are forced to work for the state. I wonder if this foreshadows the conditions of American doctors in a generation as...(Read Full Article)

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