Directed by Christian Petzgold, Written by Simone Baer and Christian Petzgold
Screening at FACT from 26th-29th October 2007

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Although the final scene left me baffled - others have called it a cop-out - Yella, directed by a member of the so-called 'Berlin School' of young German filmmakers proved fascinating to watch, notably the various twists in the plot and the switching of the past and the future in the present.

The film is a stark allegory of the destructiveness to the human soul of greed, misplaced desire, loneliness, and lying and being lied to.

Yella (Nina Hoss) moves from a rural part of the former East Germany, leaving behind her beloved father, in search of work in the more affluent western part of the country. But she is dogged by misfortune in her quest, not helped by being constantly stalked by her ex-husband Ben (Hinnerk Schonemann).

Her fortunes appear to change for the good when she teams up with a maverick venture capitalist Phillip (David Striesow), who will stoop to any length to earn money - without the disapproval of Yella. In fact she collaborates with him in his scheming ways, acting as his accountant in the steel and glass surroundings of company boardrooms.

The photography created is one of the strong points of the film - the many shots of mundane hotel rooms and characterless boardrooms are juxtaposed with alluring images of the countryside, suffused with many colours and the sounds of nature.

If only the last couple of minutes had been left in the cutting room!

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