The Fiancee | Chicago Reader

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105 minutes · 2013

Drama
A study in devotion, this 1980 East German drama take place almost entirely inside a women’s prison, where the protagonist (Jutta Wachowiak in a memorable performance) has been sentenced to ten years—the first two in solitary confinement—for conspiring with her fiance against the Nazis. As her sentence drags on, her love for him becomes not just the indirect cause of her suffering but her only means of transcending it, and even some of the women staffing the prison are humbled and ennobled by her. Directors Gunther Reisch and Gunther Rucker establish a spare, ascetic tone with their scoreless soundtrack and muted blue-gray color scheme, creating a drab world where the only shafts of sunlight come from within. In German with subtitles.

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