Friday, June 4, 2021
At first blush, the new film from Christian Petzold might seem a departure for the German director, especially to those only acquainted with him from his recent triumvirate of masterful films about the romantic and identity crises of refugees at different points in German history: Barbara (NYFF50), Phoenix, and Transit (NYFF56). Yet Petzold has long been toying with established genres, and with Undine he injects a supernatural element into a melodrama of star-crossed lovers—the title character (Paula Beer), a historian and tour guide at the Berlin City Museum specializing in urban development, and industrial diver Christoph (Franz Rogowski, Beer’s co-star in Transit). Linked by a love of the water, Undine and Christoph form an intense bond, which can only do so much to help her overcome the considerable baggage of her former affair. The story of a contemporary relationship guided by age-old cosmic fate, Petzold’s film contains indelible images of lush romanticism while remaining scrupulously enigmatic. An NYFF58 selection. An IFC Films release.
For in-theater screenings, please review our in-theater safety and health policies here.
Watch our Q&A from the 58th New York Film Festival below.