Screened as part of NZIFF 2021

Undine 2020

Directed by Christian Petzold Spotlight

This captivating tale of fated lovers, drawing on myth and fantasy, is also a love song to Berlin.

Nov 05

Embassy Theatre

Nov 08

Light House Cinema Petone

Nov 10

Light House Cinema Petone

Nov 12

Embassy Theatre

Nov 20

Reading Cinemas Porirua

Germany In German with English subtitles
91 minutes DCP


Director, Screenplay


Paula Beer
Franz Rogowski
Maryam Zaree
Jacob Matschenz
Anne Ratte-Polle
Rafael Stachowiak
Julia Franz Richter
Gloria Endres de Oliveira


Florian Koerner von Gustorf
Michael Weber


Has Fromm


Bettina Böhler


J.S. Bach


Berlin 2020


Best Actress & FIPRESCI Prize (Competition), Berlin International Film Festival 2020


German auteur Christian Petzold is a master in the art of tightening an invisible grip on his characters; they can appear as though becalmed, between worlds, stranded and hovering in a transitory state due to circumstance, fate or personality – and not always aware of the fact. Undine is no exception, and his latest heroine is perhaps his most slippery and elusive yet. But then, her name belongs to a mythical creature, a female water nymph whose lack of a soul, not to mention her aquatic environment, can complicate interaction with humans.

A historian, Undine’s subject is Berlin: its many strata, both geographical and architectural; she delves deep into what lies below and in the past. Christophe, a diver tasked with assessing the underwater foundations of the city’s constructions, witnesses one of Undine’s presentations at her workplace, the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing. A restaurant aquarium brings them together in one of the most startling first encounters viewers are likely to see at this festival. They are instantly transfixed and launch into a passionate affair.

The chemistry between Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski, stars of Petzold’s Transit (NZIFF 2018), powers this film of strangeness and wonders, plunging viewers into an intoxicating waking dream. — Sandra Reid