Your feedback for “Phoenix”

There were 38 feedback response slips returned after the showing of this film. The breakdown from these slips were as follows: Rating: ★★★½☆

  • ‘Excellent’: 11 votes
  • ‘Very Good’: 12 votes
  • ‘Good’: 6 votes
  • ‘Satisfactory’: 6 votes
  • ‘Poor’: 3 votes

Feedback comments for “Phoenix”.

As ever, we are always interested to receive any additional comments people may have on this film.

One thought on “Your feedback for “Phoenix”

  1. Sometimes Cinema requires that we suspend our belief in the rational, in order that the Director and cast may take us on a journey (vis-a-vis “Speed” and 1001 – and counting – Marvel Comic Book adaptations).

    Ignore the unlikelihood that Johnny would be unable to recognise his wife by anything other than her facial features. Also ignore having yet another film stretch the boundaries of what is achievable with reconstructive surgery (even today, let alone late 1940’s). “Phoenix” is a moving account of a nation trying to come to terms with the horrors of its recent past.

    Whilst Lene and Johnny are trying to move on and create new lives for themselves, Nelly – the most victimised of the three – is desperately trying to cling on to the past (wanting her old face back, determined to return to her husband, etc.). Both Lene and Johnny are preoccupied by Nelly’s inheritance, whilst it appears to mean nothing to Nelly (possibly because it wasn’t there in her idealised memories of the past.

    Then there is Lene’s guilt at having survived the holocaust, driving her to commit suicide, this was a recurring theme after the war and also touched upon in “Sarah’s Key” (which the Film Club showed a few seasons back).

    The poetic justice of the final act – Nelly’s realisation that all their friends were in on Johnny’s deception and then the way she turned the tables on them by singing one of her songs was excellent – even if, once again, their reaction as she calmly walked away defied reason.

    One final point – the song at the end, “Speak Low” by Kurt Weill, was written in 1943, for a Broadway show “One Touch of Venus” – long after he had fled Germany (and his music banned by the 3rd Reich) – and, presumably, when Nelly and Johnny would have been hiding from the Nazis. This could not have been a song Nelly and Johnny would have performed together. Even at the time the film was set, it would be doubtful that they would have been even aware of it. Nonetheless, it is a perfect song in the context of the movie, even if – once again – we need to suspend reason to justify its inclusion.

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