“[A] must-see… An essayistic, quietly moving look at another lost world… The movie draws you in quickly with its intelligence, its restrained emotions and its jaw-dropping period material, which includes some wildly creepy Stasi surveillance imagery.”
- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Karl Marx City offers eerie parallels to the rise in surv illance today. [It] makes for a particularly resonant warning from the not-so-distant past… doesn’t have a whiff of the narcissism that plagues so many first-person documentaries. Epperlein offers Karl Marx City as her own act of painful transparency, an essential warning about what happens to societies when ordinary citizens are being watched.”
- Scott Tobias, Variety

“A compelling family mystery wrapped in Cold War history. Dozens of documentaries have been made about the repressive Communist regimes of the former Eastern bloc, but few have been as visually striking or as deeply personal as Karl Marx City. Part espionage thriller, part family memoir, and part timely warning about the dangers of state surveillance. A key joy of Karl Marx City is its strong, arty aesthetic.”
- Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

Included in “Fifteen Films Not to Miss” at the NYFF “More than a movie about one family’s history, or even about one country’s history, this is a fascinating conversation about history itself, the very act of forgetting, and the persistence of memory.”
- Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice

"Karl Marx City is a stunner — an impressively inventive take on the personal doc that, with the sinister banality of its archival footage, expands from the personal to the political before concluding with a breathtakingly perfect ending.”
- Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine

“Provocative and personal… Eloquently presents a culture of intense paranoia… A director putting oneself front and center in their documentary can be a risky move, but here it pays off.”
- Abbey Bender, Metro

“Karl Marx City is that rarest of objects: an exploration of family history that avoids solipsism and manages to connect the personal to much broader things.” - Michael Sicinski, Cinema Scope