Combining family history with a lean, but no less detailed look at Germany’s Stasi past, “Karl Marx City” is a documentary with the qualities of a thriller, and today we have the exclusive trailer for the upcoming film.

Directed by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker, the duo behind “Gunner Palace,” the film explores the possible link Epperlein’s father had with the security state, while also studying Germany’s Cold War era. It’s a picture we described as “lean, smart, quick, well-made, and unsparing” — here’s the official synopsis:

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Twenty-five years after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic, New York filmmaker Petra Epperlein returns to her childhood home of Karl Marx City to find the truth about her late father’s suicide and his rumored Stasi past. Had he been an informant for the secret police? Was her childhood an elaborate fiction? As she looks for answers in the Stasi’s extensive archives and from her own family, she pulls back the curtain of her own ostalgia and enters the parallel world of the security state. Making eerie use of Stasi surveillance footage, the film is a Cold War mystery tale and a psycho-political look at how the larger world impacts our individual understanding of love, trust and betrayal. 

“Karl Marx City” opens on Wednesday, March 29th.