Category Archives: Berlinale

Coverage of the Berlin International Film Festival

Favourite films of the Berlinale Bloggers 2015

The Berlinale 2015 is over, the seats of the Zoo Palast are empty. | © ZOO Palast / Jan Bittner

The Berlinale 2015 is over, the seats of the Zoo Palast are empty. | © ZOO Palast / Jan Bittner

Film journalists and bloggers from seven countries have written about the Berlin Berlinale for Goethe.de. With these recommendations, the Berlin bloggers take their leave until the Berlinale in 2016.

Wafaa al Badry

Wafaa Al Badry
I liked Victoria from Sebastian Schipper the most. The film gave me the feeling of the actors living the story. It felt like a theater play put into a movie. I also admired Selma from Ava DuVernay, as the film portraits a very important moment in the progress of humanity.

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Berlinale Blogger: “A love letter to cinema” – The winners at the Berlinale

Golden Bear: “Taxi” by Jafar Panahi – Hana Saeidi, the niece of director Jafar Panahi, accepted the prize on his behalf. | Photo: Richard Hübner © Berlinale 2015

Golden Bear: “Taxi” by Jafar Panahi – Hana Saeidi, the niece of director Jafar Panahi, accepted the prize on his behalf. | Photo: Richard Hübner © Berlinale 2015

by Madeleine Prahs

Iranian director and regime critic Jafar Panahi takes the Golden Bear for “Taxi”, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay Silver Bears for best acting in Andrew Haigh’s splendid chamber drama “45 Years”.

Hanna Saeidi stretches her arm, holding the Golden Bear high and smiling from ear to ear. She’s Jafar Panahi’s niece. His wonderful film Taxi has just won the Bear, but Panahi is not attending. The regime critic is under house arrest at home in Iran, where he shot the film although banned from filmmaking. Taxi is “a love letter to cinema”, said jury president Darren Aronofsky upon announcing the winner. The jury’s decision is a clear-cut signal, a plea for artistic liberty and freedom of speech.

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Berlinale Blogger: “Amal” Wins Best Documentary Award

Producer Sara Bökemeyer and director Mohamed Siam receive the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation for their project “Amal”. | Photo: David Ausserhofer © Berlinale 2015

Producer Sara Bökemeyer and director Mohamed Siam receive the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation for their project “Amal”. | Photo: David Ausserhofer © Berlinale 2015

by Christopher Resch, @Gigi300

When I met Mohamed Siam at the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival in November 2014, it took him all of five minutes to get me excited about his “Amal” project. And I was not the only one: the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung has now paid tribute to the film at the Berlinale.

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Berlinale Blogger: Living queer in Kenya

“Stories of our Lives” by Jim Chuchu | © Dan Muchina

“Stories of our Lives” by Jim Chuchu | © Dan Muchina

by Steve Mbugu

“Stories of our Lives” from director Jim Chuchu features five individual true stories, which are entangled around the common struggle of living queer in Kenya – a marginalized community in Kenya.

The 62 minutes black and white film is directed by Jim Chuchu and co-written by Njoki Ngumi from the NEST collective in Nairobi. It is a great combination of an exceptional cast, world class cinematography and great editing.

“Ongea na Mimi Poa”

The film opens with a story called Ongea na mimi poa (Talk to me nicely). It is the story of Kate, who is a highschool student. Kate is in dilemma over her sexual orientation and desires versus what the authorities and the world around her expect. Struggling between the two divergent forces, the movie seeks to show Kate’s journey to self-determination.

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Berlinale Blog A day in the life of a Berlinale blogger

Photo: Alexander Janetzko © Berlinale 2015

Photo: Alexander Janetzko © Berlinale 2015

von Barbara Oswald

10 days, 400 films – the Berlinale 2015. I’m here in Berlin covering the films for Goethe.de. What an average day here looks like?

Friday, 6am. I wake up because my short-term flatmates – fellow students from Munich here for the Berlinale too – have to get up and out early. They’ve got student accreditation, which has the decisive drawback of having to queue up from 7am if they want a shot at the most popular screenings. It’s a little more relaxed with my press accreditation, 8.30am will do. I nod to them with a look of commiseration (for which I receive black looks in return) and go back to sleep.

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Berlinale Blogger: Sinners in limbo

"El Club" by Pablo Larraín | © Fabula

“El Club” by Pablo Larraín | © Fabula

by Pablo López Barbero, @pablolbarbero

The enormous potential of Chilean cinema is again conspicuously clear at this year’s Berlinale. “El Club” is a powerful picture about the dark side of the Catholic Church and the moral abyss.

The film is about a group of retired priests living cut off from the rest of the world in a little village on the Chilean coast. They lead a placid, laid-back life there, taking long walks, training a greyhound for the races, gardening.

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Berlinale Blogger: Kon Ichikawa’s timeless social criticism

Kon Ichikawa | © Kadokawa Corporation

Kon Ichikawa | © Kadokawa Corporation

by Kiyohide Hayashi

The Berlinale doesn’t only screen new productions, some classics are on the programme too. This year’s Forum section is devoting a small-scale retrospective to the Japanese filmmaker Kon Ichikawa.

With his lifetime achievement of over 70 films, Kon Ichikawa, who died in 2008 at the age of 92, ranks among the great masters of Japanese cinema. Had he lived, he would have turned 100 in 2015: reason enough for a retrospective this year. The Forum section will be showing three Ichikawa films: Enjo (Conflagration; 1958), Ototo (Her Brother; 1960) and Yukinojo henge (An Actor’s Revenge; 1963). This is an opportunity to introduce Ichikawa’s pictures to a wider public – or, for those familiar with his work, to rediscover them. For although his films won several prizes at the festivals in Cannes and Venice, nowadays they are all but unknown outside Japan.

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