The Berlin International Film Festival has now completed the lineups for two of its programs, Forum Expanded and Generation. Back in December, the Berlinale announced a first round of Generation titles selected for younger viewers, so what we have today are the new additions with descriptions from the festival—whose sixty-eighth edition runs from February 15 through 25.
'abl ma 'ansa, directed by Mariam Mekiwi.
6144 X 1024, by Margaret Honda, “separates out the entire colour spectrum of a digital projector in a computer-generated screening. This process lasts thirty-six hours in total and will be shown for a few hours each day over the course of the festival in the smaller of the two Arsenal cinema auditoria.”
Aala Kad Al Shawk - Le Voyage Immobile, Ghassan Salhab and Mohamed Soueid.
Another Movie, Morgan Fisher, a response to Bruce Conner’s A Movie (1958), which will also be screened. “By making reference to Ottorino Respighi’s composition ‘Pini di Roma,’ Fisher generates visual associations to Conner’s film almost automatically.”
Araf, Didem Pekün.
Ard al mahshar, Milad Amin,
Bayna Hayakel Studio Baalbeck, SISKA.
Celluloid Corridors: Sermon and Celluloid Corridors: Timehelix, Mohamed A. Gawad, Dalia Neis, and Andreas Reihse, “who is well-known as a member of the band Kreidler.” He’s “collaborated with artist and author Mohamed A. Gawad and filmmaker and author Dalia Neis (aka Dice Miller) in composing two audio essays.”
Cinema Olanda Film, Wendelien van Oldenborgh.
Contra-Internet: Jubilee 2033, by Zach Blas, is “inspired by Derek Jarman’s queer punk film Jubilee (1978). Blas shows philosopher Ayn Rand and economist Alan Greenspan on a drug trip in 1955, during which they witness the end of the Internet in 2033.”
The Disappeared, Adam Kaplan and Gilad Baram.
DUG, Jan Peter Hammer.
Escape from Rented Island: The Lost Paradise of Jack Smith. Jerry Tartaglia “combines glamorous pictures of the performer and filmmaker, who died in 1989, with music from his own eccentric record collection.”
Eu sou o Rio. Gabraz Sanna and Anne Santos “create both a portrait of Brazilian artist and musician Tantão and of the city of Rio.”
Evidence of the Evidence, Alexander Johnston.
Evidentiary Bodies, Barbara Hammer.
The Invisible Hands, Marina Gioti and Georges Salameh, a documentary about the Egyptian band that’ll be giving a concert (see below).
It, Anouk De Clercq and Tom Callemin.
Manila Scream Expanded, Roxlee.
Onward Lossless Follows, Michael Robinson.
Optimism, Deborah Stratman.
The Rare Event, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell.
RIOT: 3 Movements, Rania Stephan.
Die Schläferin, Alex Gerbaulet.
Shelley Duval is Olive Oyl, Ken Jacobs.
Song for Europe, John Smith.
Today Is 11th June 1993, Clarissa Thieme.
Two Basilicas, Heinz Emigholz.
An Untimely Film for Every One and No One, Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri.
wa akhiran musiba, Maya Shurbaji.
Watching the Detectives, by Chris Kennedy, “takes a critical look at the internet as we know it today by retracing the efforts of amateur detectives to reconstruct the events of the Boston Marathon bombing.”
We Live in Silence: Chapters 1-7, by Kudzanai Chiurai, “takes Med Hondo’s classic Soleil Ô as a point of departure for staging historical narratives and visions of the future that reject the assumption that African migrants are supposed to think, speak and understand language in the way their colonizers do.”
Group exhibition at Akademie der Künste am Hanseatenweg
Article 9303, Ash Moniz.
Bläue (Blueness), Kerstin Schroedinger. Image at the top.
Café Togo, by Musquiqui Chihying and Gregor Kasper, “examines the campaign to rename streets with colonial connotations in the so-called African Quarter of Berlin-Wedding. It also explores Black activist Abdel Amine Mohammed’s vision of a multidimensional politics of memory.”
Cold Body Shining, Marta Hryniuk.
Come Back Alive Baby, Song Sanghee.
Extended Sea, Nesrine Khodr.
High Dam, Ala Younis. A slide installation “which focuses on two films made by Egyptian director Youssef Chahine about the Aswan Dam in the 1960s and 1970s. High Dam shines a light on the politics of the era and Chahine’s efforts to evade censorship.”
Namibia Today, Laura Horelli. “In an underground station in former East Berlin, seven people talk about the history of the magazine Namibia Today, which was published in the GDR between 1980 and 1985.”
Pink Slime Caesar Shift, Jen Liu.
Strange Meetings, Jane Jin Kaisen.
The Third Part of the Third Measure, The Otolith Group. “It stages an encounter with the militant minimalism of avant-garde composer Julius Eastman, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the ecstatic aesthetics of black radicalism, which Eastman himself once described as ‘full of honor, integrity and boundless courage.’”
Ultima Ratio Δ Mountain of the Sun, Bahar Noorizadeh.
Exhibition at Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Canadian Embassy in Berlin
Special Works School, Bambitchell (Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell). The title “refers to the code name used by the British War Office between 1917 and 1919 for a group of artists employed to design camouflage patterns and technologies.”
Exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary
We Are Not Worried in the Least, by Jasmina Metwaly, “confronts viewers with footage from the film archive that she put together in Egypt between 2001 and 2016. Egypt’s turbulent social and political landscape during this period form the historical backdrop to these images.”
Concert at silent green Kulturquartier
The Invisible Hands, the band from Egypt.
Adam, directed by Maria Solrun. World premiere. After her debut film Jargo (Generation 14plus 2004), Icelandic director Maria Solrun presents a feature film for the second time in Generation. The aurally handicapped young protagonist Adam and his mother, a techno musician, have always lived in different worlds. At the same time, they are symbiotically connected: he feels her music directly with his body. When his mother is diagnosed with irreversible brain damage caused by alcohol, Adam suddenly has to look after himself. He faces his mother’s eager death wish in his very own laconic way, and the director gives him his voice, as well as plenty of space to develop.
Dressage, Pooya Badkoobeh. World premiere. Motivated primarily by boredom rather than greed, Golsa and her friends rob a corner shop. But while evaluating the booty, they are dismayed to realize that they forgot to take the security camera footage. One of them must return to the crime scene and retrieve it. The vote falls on Golsa, who bravely completes the mission. Her friends’ behavior makes her think, and she hides the hard drive somewhere secret. But her accomplices and their well-to-do families put more and more pressure on Golsa, worried about their social standing. Director Pooya Badkoobeh radically staged story about control, blackmail and the power of money holds an uncompromising mirror up to Iranian society.
Fortuna, Germinal Roaux. World premiere. Amidst the snow-covered mountains of the Swiss Simplon Pass, fourteen-year-old Fortuna clasps her hands in prayer. She hasn’t seen her parents since their traumatic crossing of the Mediterranean. Like many other refugees, the young girl from the Ethiopia/Eritrea border area has found refuge in an Augustinian monastery. The feelings of loneliness and yearning for love that tear at Fortuna are weighed against a secret that she can’t even tell the head friar—insightfully played by Bruno Ganz. Director Germinal Roaux fathoms the depths of Christian charity in expressive black-and-white imagery.
Hendi & Hormoz, Abbas Amini. World premiere. After Valderama (Generation 2016), Iranian director Abbas Amini presents his second feature film in Generation 14plus. Hendi & Hormoz takes place on Iran’s Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf, where hematite deposits in the soil turn the ocean waves blood-red. Sixteen-year-old Hormoz is married to Hendi, three years his junior, after he promises that he can work as a miner. But the young man, stirringly played by Hamed Alipour (Valderama), finds closed doors instead of a job. When Hendi becomes pregnant unexpectedly, Hormoz is forced to make an ill-advised pact with a smuggler. Director Amini portrays the existential struggle of two young people who must abandon their carefree youth in a harsh world.
High Fantasy, Jenna Bass. European premiere. After The Tunnel (Berlinale Shorts 2010), Berlinale Talents alumna and London native Jenna Bass now presents a film in Generation 14plus. Filmed by the four protagonists exclusively on smartphones in the wide expanses of the South African veldt, Bass’s second feature film High Fantasy brings a common vision to life: being inside the body of another person. When Lexi and her friends experience exactly that during a camping trip, a suspense-laden dynamic ensues between the three women and Thami, the only man with them, but also between Lexi, who is white and Xoli, who is black. A smart and biting essay on the unrelenting politics of the human body—and still highly relevant even decades after the alleged end of Apartheid.
Kissing Candice, Aoife McArdle. European premiere. Candice, 17, has a vivid imagination. In the glaring and graphic realms she experiences during her epileptic seizures, a man appears with whom she falls in love. Soon after, she meets him in the real world. But that’s just one bit of trouble in the Irish town where the young people see a pony as a status symbol on par with a car. One boy is missing and a violent clique of youths is terrorizing the village inhabitants. Candice’s father, a police officer who longs for the “good old days” of “the Troubles,” is on the case. In her debut film, director Aoife McArdle stages highly aesthetic chaos against the harsh backdrop of a coastal Irish village. The director’s ample experience making music videos is clearly visible throughout.
Retablo, Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio L. European premiere. Fourteen-year-old Segundo lives with his parents in a village high in the magnificent mountains of Peru. His father Noé is a respected artist and Segundo’s role model. Noé hand-crafts altarpieces, decorated shrines for church and home, and is teaching Segundo the necessary skills to carry on in his footsteps. But cracks have developed in their close relationship because Noé is keeping a dark secret. With brutal honesty and saturated colors, the film peeks behind the facade of a seemingly intact village community where homophobic attitudes enforced by patriarchal laws are carried out with remorseless violence. It sketches a visually powerful panorama of a world in which a young artist is searching for his niche.
What Walaa Wants, Christy Garland. World premiere. The Palestinian girl Walaa—whose mother was incarcerated in an Israeli prison for eight years for allegedly aiding an assassination—shows little interest in school. She’d rather join the Palestinian National Authority—the provisional governmental body that governs the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza—as soon as possible, were it not for her distrust of any kind of authority. Director Christy Garland’s documentary follows the obstreperous young woman over the course of five years, from age fifteen to twenty. Always maintaining a level playing field with her young protagonist, Christy Garland gives an intimate look at the rebellious girl fighting at times uncontrollably but tenaciously for her dream.
Short films in Generation 14plus
Fry-Up, Charlotte Regan. European premiere (EP).
Follower, Jonathan B. Behr. World premiere (WP).
Je fais où tu me dis (Dressed for Pleasure), Marie de Maricourt. International premiere (IP).
Juck, Olivia Kastebring, Julia Gumpert, and Ulrika Bandeira. IP.
Kiem Holijanda, Sarah Veltmeyer. IP.
Na zdrowie! (Bless You!), Paulina Ziólkowska. WP.
Neputovanja (Untravel), Ana Nedeljković and Nikola Majdak Jr. WP.
Nuuca, Michelle Latimer. EP.
Playa (Beach), Francisco Borrajo. EP.
Pop Rox, Nate Trinrud. EP.
Premier amour (First Love), Jules Carrin. IP.
Sinfonía de un mar triste (Symphony of a Sad Sea), Carlos Morales. EP.
Tangles and Knots, Renée Marie Petropoulos. EP.
Three Centimetres, Lara Zeidan. WP.
Vermine (Vermin), Jeremie Becquer. WP.
Voltage, Samira Ghahremani. IP.
Blue Wind Blows, Tetsuya Tomina. World premiere. In his poetic full-length film debut, director Tetsuya Tomina follows shy Ao, who lives with his mother and younger sister Kii on the Japanese island of Sado. Their father recently disappeared without a trace, but nobody talks much about that. Ao and Kii wander around the island and vent their incomprehension to the expanses of the sea. Then Ao finds a soulmate in the secretive Sayoko. These two daydreamers need only a few words and feel immediately connected to one another. Against the impressive backdrop of an industrial coastal village, Tomina (who also wrote the screenplay) tells a touching story about hope, loss and letting go.
Ceres, Janet van den Brand. World premiere. In her full-length documentary debut, Dutch director Janet van den Brand accompanies her four young protagonists as they go about their daily agricultural business. Piglets are born, as well as calves, lambs and chicks. Sowing, planting and harvesting. Butchering. No matter what, the camera is close by, along with Koen, Daan, Sven and Jeanine. They help with the farm work from a young age, learning to take responsibility, and to say farewell. Will they run their parents’ farms one day? Using documental imagery, Van den Brand presents a realistic picture of life and work in agriculture—one without idealism, and yet full of poetry.
Cirkeline, Coco og det vilde næsehorn (Circleen, Coco and the Wild Rhinoceros), Jannik Hastrup. World premiere. The works of Danish director Jannik Hastrup, seasoned master of animation film, have competed in the Generation programs since 1985. This year he presents the fourth screen adventure of the matchbook-sized elf Cirkeline. Travel is once again on the agenda, this time with Princess Coco and a moody baby rhinoceros, who both want to return to their home in Africa. Cirkeline and her mouse friends spontaneously decide to go along. A musical story told in episodes and lively, colorful images, Hastrup’s film once again illustrates how travel can open our eyes, and that not everything is the way it seems at first glance.
Los Bando, Christian Lo. International premiere. Best friends Axel and Grim finally want to perform at this year’s Norwegian rock championship with their band, Los Bando Immortale. Nine-year-old runaway and cellist Thilda, and underage rally driver Martin complete the troupe, and the quartet sets off on a turbulent road trip to the wild north. With the police and crazy relatives on their tail, and confronted with harsh truths in life and love, the four friends continue toward their dream, unperturbed. After Bestevenner (2010), Norwegian director Christian Lo presents his second feature film in Generation Kplus.
Mochila de plomo (Packing Heavy), Darío Mascambroni. World premiere. Twelve-year-old Tomás tolerated it for far too long—being put off by the grownups, who built a labyrinth of silence, excuses and contradictions all around him. But today is the day of truth. Today, the man who killed his father will be released from prison. And Tomás is ready. In his rucksack is a loaded gun. Restless and determined to liberate himself from the half-truths of the adults, Tomás takes a trip through his hometown. Following his debut Primero enero (Generation Kplus 2017), director Darío Mascambroni once again demonstrates his talent for the attentively observed father-son narrative, told in atmospheric images and in close proximity to his protagonists.
Wang Zha de yuxue (Wangdrak’s Rain Boots), Lhapal Gyal. World premiere. After heavy rains, puddles and mud cover the streets of the Tibetan mountain village. It’s good for the crops, but bad for young Wangdrak, the only boy in the village without rubber boots. While his father is busy with other worries, Wangdrak’s mother fulfills her son’s wish. But new shoes bring new problems. For Wangdrak, a battle against the blue sky and for the rain begins, fought alongside his loyal friend Lhamo. Nestled in the inimitable mountain landscape, director Lhapal Gyal uses vivid imagery to show us a culture steeped in ancient traditions, paying special attention to the young protagonist’s dreams.
Short films in Generation Kplus
A Field Guide to Being a 12-Year-Old Girl, Tilda Cobham-Hervey. IP.
L’après-midi de Clémence (The Afternoon of Clémence), Lénaïg Le Moigne. WP.
Vdol´ i poperyok (Between the Lines), Maria Koneva. WP.
Brottas (Tweener), Julia Thelin. IP.
Cena d’aragoste (Lobster Dinner), Gregorio Franchetti. IP.
De Natura, Lucile Hadžihalilović. IP.
Fisketur (Out Fishing), Uzi Geffenblad. IP.
Fire in Cardboard City, Phil Brough. EP.
Hvalagapet, Liss-Anett Steinskog. IP.
Jaalgedi (A Curious Girl), Rajesh Prasad Khatri. EP.
Lost & Found, Bradley Slabe. WP.
Neko no Hi (Cat Days), Jon Frickey. WP.
Paper Crane, Takumi Kawakami. WP.
Pinguin (Penguin), Julia Ocker. WP.
Snijeg za Vodu (Snow for Water), Christopher Villiers. IP.
Toda mi alegría (All My Joy), Micaela Gonzalo. IP.
Tråder (Threads), Torill Kove. EP.
Trois rêves de ma jeunesse (Three Dreams of My Childhood), Valérie Mréjen and Bertrand Schefer. IP.
Yover, Edison Sánchez. WP.
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