Program A-Z
Berlin Syndrome

Psychological thriller about a tourist in Berlin and her local lover steers away from flat-out horror, but creeps under the skin nonetheless.


Director | Cate Shortland

Australia | 2017

116 minutes

With | Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt, Lucie Aron

Language | English, German

Subtitles | English

Berlin Syndrome

Australian photojournalist Claire is on a Eurotrip when she meets charming Andi on the streets of Berlin. The two go on a date and end up in Andi's secluded apartment. The next morning, Claire discovers Andi's locked the door and has forgotten to leave her a key. Psychological thriller steers away from flat-out horror, but creeps under the skin nonetheless. 

Director Cate Shortland (Somersault, Lore) has a great eye for spaces and sensuality, which is especially apparent in Claire and Andi's love making, making what comes after even more poignant. Shortland focuses on the dynamics between the two characters and the psychological effects of the situation. Claire’s character - played with great finesse by Teresa Palmer - handles her situation with humanity and grace. Andi is followed outside of the apartment, but he mostly remains an enigma, which is fine, because his actions don't really need an explanation. This is a familiar story, expertly told with great psychological insight.