Flight to Berlin (Fluchtpunkt Berlin)

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


Christopher Petit’s third feature is a dazzlingly make modern thriller, though lovers of neatly structured plots with satisfactory ending in which everything is explained may not appreciate its qualities. Petit, an ex-film critic, isn’t interested in the perfect plot as he showed in his critically acclaimed first feature Radio On: it’s not the story so much as the characters and the background detail that are exciting here. And Flight To Berlin is exciting. It opens brilliantly, as Susannah is taken from a Berlin apartment in the middle of the night by plainclothes police and driven speedily through the city streets. In the police station she’s interrogated but, as the sparse narration tell, “they asked me the wrong question.” The questions they ask concern why Susannah was in the apartment of a known criminal, but as i s discovered when the inevitable flashbacks begin, she has other problems . . .Gradually she becomes enmeshed with a group of mysterious characters . . .But it’s not just a buff film, for the elliptical script, excellent acting and, above all, the extraordinary location camerawork of Martin Schafer, combine to make compulsive viewing even if, in the end, the answers remain elusive.

— David Stratton, Variety

Screening Details

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