East Germany 1980. Doctor Barbara has applied for an exit permit. As punishment, she is transferred from her job in Berlin to a small hospital in a suburb. Together with her boyfriend in West Germany, she makes a plan to flee, but at the same time she becomes increasingly involved in the work with patients at the hospital. She also gets a special relationship with her colleague André.
Barbara is an exciting drama with many layers. The film depicts human destinies and life in the GDR with an intelligence and intensity not seen since The Lives of Others. A formidable ensemble creates believable and complex figures with the fantastic Nina Hoss as Barbara at the helm.