Nelly Lenz is a concentration camp survivor who has been left severely injured with a disfigured face. Lene Winter, who works for the Jewish Agency, takes her to Berlin. Following facial re-construction surgery, Nelly begins the search for her husband Johnny.

Christian Petzold is one of the leading directors in New German cinema. The German Film Critics Association has twice awarded him Best Film awards, for the urban drama GHOSTS and THE STATE I AM IN. He was twice named Best Director at the German Film Awards, for the psychological drama WOLFSBURG and THE STATE I AM IN. His first fictional feature THE STATE I AM IN, a political drama set in the 2000s, also won Best Screenplay at Thessaloniki (Greece) and the Grand Prize at Valenciennes (France). His last feature film, BARBARA, won the Silver Bear at Berlinale 2012 (Best Director). Born in 1960, Petzold studied German and Theatre Studies at the Free University in Berlin, then graduated from the German Film & Television Academy (DFFB) in 1994.