Paula Beer stars in the role that saw her win the Silver Bear Award for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival, bringing an old German romance to life in the dressings of a modern day mystery.
Taking its name from an old German folk tale, the original story of Undine follows a water spirit who marries a knight in order to gain a soul. Christian Petzold brings that tale to modern day Berlin, creating a story where all is not quite what it seems. While romance remains an important component of this retelling, it is more the sense of the uncanny and hints of a stranger world that drives this contemporary telling of a much explored text.
Undine (Beer) works in the city of Berlin as a tour guide focused around the city’s long history of architecture. Her boyfriend has just dumped her, and when she’s at her lowest ebb, she meets the inquisitive Christoph (Franz Rogowski), a diver who can’t help but find the striking Undine fascinating. As the two develop a relationship, Christoph soon comes to realise that there’s more to Undine than meets the eye.
Full review at THN, originally published October 12th 2020.