Yella (Germany, 2007)

Yella being stalked by her husband as she leaves for the west.


I watched this based on a recommendation by Roy Stafford and knew nothing about it. I enjoy watching films without preconceptions (as far as that is possible) but that method of viewing can result in missing large parts of the subtext (er, if it was a SUBtext).

I enjoyed the film, found the ending slightly non-sensical as I thought it simply bracketed the narrative without adding anything. The representation of the corruption, and vacuity, and capitalism in its most ‘evolved’ form – ie venture capitalism – is acute. The performances are excellent; particularly Nina Hoss is the title role.

Then, reading Sight and Sound, I find that Wittenburg is in the east of Germany and the river’s the Elbe. My ignorance of German geography, accentuated by not knowing anything of the film, led me to miss the overtly political orientation of the film.

As a parable/ghost story etc of modern Germany it reminds me of New German cinema of the 1970s; such as The Lost Honour of Katerina Blum. The director of Yella is described as part of new German cinema; should we call this new New? Or neu New? Whatever, it’s great to see films engaging politically with the world.

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