Yella (2008): Christian Petzolds Fourth Feature–Migration Issues

Inspired by Herk Harvey’s 1962 cult classic “Carnival of Souls,” Yella offers a bracing critique of modern capitalist society by considering the current migration of men and women from former Eastern Bloc countries seeking prosperity in the West.

It is Christian Petzolds fourth feature film and his third collaboration with Nina Hoss.

“Yella” premiered at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival, where it received the Silver Bear prize for Best Actress for its star Nina Hoss. It was selected as Best Picture by the German Film Critics Association (2008) and is the recipient of four 2008 Lola Awards (Germanys Academy Awards) in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Cinematography.

This film will open in New York at the Cinema Village on May 16, 2008 and will be followed by a national release.

Narrowly escaping her volatile ex-husband, Yella (Nina Hoss) flees her small hometown in former East Germany for a new life in the West. She finds a promising job with Philipp (Devid Striesow), a handsome business executive with whom an unlikely romance soon blossoms. But just as Yella seems poised to realize her dreams, she finds herself haunted by buried truths that threaten to destroy her newfound happiness.

Christian Petzold is one of the leading directors of New German cinema. The German Film Critics Association has three times awarded him the Best Film award, for the urban drama Ghosts, The State I Am In, and Yella. He was twice named Best Director at the German Film Awards, for the psychological drama Wolfsburg and The State I Am In. His first fiction feature, 2000s political drama The State I Am In, also won Best Screenplay at Thessaloniki (Greece) and the Grand Prize at Valenciennes (France).