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A couple with a criminal past have been living on the run with their 15-year-old daughter. When their money is stolen, they must return secretly from Portugal to their native Germany, a journey during which Jeanne’s teenage development coincides with the violent disintegration of the family cell.
Christian Petzold displayed a rare gift for genre subversion from the very start. At once a coming-of-age tale and terrorists-on-the-run thriller, his debut feature uses the former to comment on the latter—its mutable young protagonist serving as a proxy for a nation surveying its traumatic past.