KARL MARX CITY
Unsurprisingly, East Germany (aka the GDR/German Democratic Republic) boasts people who are experts in suicide notes. The Soviet satellite came to an ignoble end when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, leaving behind a lot of unanswered questions, among them Petra Epperlein’s suspicion that her father (a suicide) spied for the Stasi, the state police. Now a New Yorker, Epperlein, and co-filmmaker Michael Tucker (GUNNER PALACE) return to her childhood home and, with wonderful graphic panache, investigate her family’s past as well as the life of a nation in which one out of three citizens spied on the other two. Making smart use of “jaw-dropping period material which includes some wildly creepy Stasi surveillance imagery” (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times), it’s a Cold War mystery tale and a psycho-political look at how the larger world impacts our individual understanding of love, trust, and betrayal.