The water nymph Undine was born in the waters of a lake, but living on dry land she has come to know all of Berlin’s secrets. Now she works as a historian in a museum packed with models of urban layouts and buildings. When the museum cafeteria’s aquarium breaks, she meets Christoph, an industrial diver who personifies the metal figure of an antique diver from the broken aquarium. Christoph lives in the water, knowing little of the world outside, but he comes to know the city with Undine’s eyes. A modern-day fairy tale about feelings that are clear as water, coming to life in a city that was once divided but now is whole.
As Christian Petzold, one of today’s most notable names in German cinema, says, this merging of the mythology of the naiad Undine and Berlin’s history is a continuation of his previous work ‘Transit’ (2018), which completed his trilogy ‘Love in the Time of Oppressive Systems’. In ‘Transit’, the female lead, played by Paula Beer, drowns in the sea while the male lead, Franz Rogowski (aka the German Joaquin Phoenix) is left ashore. Now the lovers will meet again. ‘Undine’ develops this tender, almost archetypal love story with Germany’s most talented new generation actors.
Foreword by the programme curator: Intellectually stimulating auteur cinema. Even the love story of a mermaid and a diver can become emotionally cunning.