Movie Plot - Phoenix
The film follows Nelly Lenz, a Holocaust survivor and former cabaret singer, who returns to Berlin after undergoing facial reconstruction surgery for damage caused by a bullet wound. Following the end of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps, Nelly returns to Germany with her friend Lene. Here, Lene takes Nelly to a reconstructive plastic surgeon. Although Nelly tells the surgeon that she would like to look exactly as she used to, he is unable to recreate her old face completely and Nelly is disappointed with the final result.
Lene finds an apartment for her and Nelly. Since Nelly's family members all died during the war, Nelly has inherited a considerable amount of money. Lene suggests to Nelly that she collect the money and that the two of them travel to Palestine. She believes they will be safe there and can help with the creation of an independent Jewish state.
Although Lene warns Nelly that her husband Johnny may have been the one to betray her to the Nazis, Nelly denies this possibility. She leaves the apartment at night to find him. She finds Johnny working in a nightclub called Phoenix. Johnny fails to recognize her, yet says later that she bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, Nelly. In order to obtain his wife's inheritance, he asks Nelly to impersonate his wife.
Johnny slowly transforms Nelly into an image and performer of her previous self before her arrest. Nelly goes along with Johnny's plan...