The Berlin Wall falls, and a successful middle-aged mother, living in picturesque Norwegian contentment, dons a wig and makes a clandestine trip to Germany. Something’s awry – but what? Loosely rooted in the true fates of Norwegian children of Nazi officers, this chilly tale is haunted by East Germany’s past. The pacing is not quite robust enough to bear up under the gloom of history, and it’s the handsome, yearning cinematography that proves most impactful – though Liv Ullmann is a muted wonder.
Zwei Leben | Directed by Judith Kaufmann, Georg Maas (Germany, Norway 2013) With Juliane Köhler, Liv Ullmann. Starts September 18
Originally published in issue #119, September 2013.