Between the years 1949 and 1990 roughly four million people left the GDR for West Germany. "West" (adapted from the book Lagerfeuer by Julia Franck) tells the story of Nelly, a young mother, who together with her son, tries for a new beginning in the West. After undergoing a humiliating strip-search before being allowed to leave, she discovers she has to undergo yet more interrogations by the Allied secret services that treat many refugees with the suspicion that they may be working for the Stasi. The Emergency Refugee Centre turns from a place of safety into a cold war location, and when seeming friends could actually be informants, Nelly becomes infected by paranoia. With great personal and political power, "West" shows the difficulties of daring to start a new life. Jordis Triebel gives an outstanding performance as Nelly, that won her the best German actress of the year award.