There is global dissatisfaction with, even hatred for, Communist governments, for movies that express this have emanated from Russia, China, Cuba, Germany. Christian Petzold‘s 2012 Barbara is one such German film, as important as the others.

Nina Hoss enacts a thirtyish doctor living in East Germany in the 1980s. Her application to leave the country has compelled the government to send her to work in a rural hospital, but Barbara, the doctor, seeks to escape to the West. Communists in power, to her, are “assholes.” This means, even so, that Barbara will be leaving behind some broken people—patients—and her West German lover is willing to live with her in the Red East. Much is forcing her to make a difficult choice.

Having seen Barbara twice, I realize it is a small film. But also it is grave and uncompromising. And it is humanistic—humanistically anti-Red.

(In German with English subtitles)