Yella (Hoss) leaves behind her life in the former East Germany for a new job in Hanover. She is also escaping from ex-husband Ben (Schonemann), whose behavior has become volatile and threatening. She finds work with venture capitalist Philipp (Striesow) and discovers that she is skilled at business. But Ben has followed her to Hanover, and as she starts to fall for Philipp, her past seems to be catching up to her.
Combining elements of a psychological thriller with social commentary about greed and western capitalism, Petzold delivers a coolly sleek, somewhat dehumanized portrait of contemporary Germany, filled with sterile offices and soulless hotels. This modern, antiseptic atmosphere reinforces Yella’s own sense of alienation and emotional fragility. The wildly talented Hoss carries the film; her knife-edge performance won her the best actress award at the Berlin Film Festival- and no wonder!