Nelly Lenz is a concentration camp survivor who has been left severely injured with a disfigured face. The war has ended and all Nelly dreams about is getting her life back to normal. Following a facial re-construction surgery, Nelly returns to Berlin in search of her husband Johnny. Although Johnny does not recognise her, he approaches her with a proposal. Since she resembles his wife, whom he believes to be dead, he asks her to help him claim his wife's considerable inheritance. Nelly agrees, and becomes her own doppelganger – she needs to know if Johnny ever loved her, or if he betrayed her to the Nazis.
"I didn't want a tight, musty sound in Phoenix, but an open window through which the noise and the patter of the city could be heard, so that one realises that life goes on after the disaster. Because a ghost is not a ghost when surrounded by life. If everything is spooky, nothing is spooky."
- Christian Petzold
Born in Hilden in 1960. He first studied German language and literature as well as drama, followed by studies at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin, during which time he was assistant director to Harun Farocki. He started out in his own right directing award-winning TV films, and made his first feature film, The State I Am In, in 2001. He has attained international renown as one of the most prominent young German filmmakers with Ghosts and Yella.