Over a month ago now, we posted the first round in the ongoing series of lineup announcements from the Berlin International Film Festival, whose sixty-eighth edition runs from February 15 through 25. And that round revealed the first eleven titles slated for the Panorama section. Today, the Berlinale’s completed that lineup, making for a total of forty-seven films.
We’ll get to those in a moment, but first, the Berlinale’s also announced lineups for two sidebars and a Berlinale Co-Production Market event, “Books at Berlinale,” wherein “producers can once again discover twelve new, unusual literary works that could be turned into films.” The books:
- Isabel Allende’s In the Midst of Winter
- Şebnem İşigüzel’s The Girl in the Tree
- Arnfinn Kolerud’s The Million Kroner Kindness Competition
- Michael Nast’s #egoland
- Véronique Olmi’s Bakhita
- Rodoula Pappa’s Captain Horror’s Island
- Mazarine Pingeot’s Magda
- Rosella Postorino’s Hitler’s Feast
- Sven Recker’s Fake Metal Jacket
- Emma Rowley’s Where the Missing Go
- Tom Saller’s Martha’s Dance
- Dato Turashvili’s The Other Amsterdam
The focus of this year’s NATIVe − A Journey into Indigenous Cinema program shifts to “the countries and islands bound together by the vast Pacific Ocean.”
- Asinnajaq’s Three Thousand (2017) is a short documentary “combining historic footage with original animation in a poetic tapestry” that explores the director’s “Inuit heritage throughout its entire audio-visual history and beyond, projecting a hopeful future.”
- Annick Ghijzelings’s MA’OHI NUI, au cœur de l'océan mon pays (MA’OHI NUI, in the heart of the ocean my country lies) is a “poetic testimony on the adversities the Ma’ohi have undergone in times of contemporary colonization, portraying the aftermath of nuclear testing in French Polynesia, and the desire of a people to re-claim their identity.”
- Anastasia Lapsui and Markku Lehmuskallio’s Fata Morgana (2005) is “a mesmerizing mix of filmic and storytelling styles” recounting “thousands of years of history of the Chukchi people, from their mythology to the Russian colonisation and the modern-day survival of this culture.”
The twelfth edition of Culinary Cinema has a motto, “Life Is Delicate.”
- Cameron Yates’s Chef Flynn opens the program, documenting the career of young Flynn McGarry, who’ll be cooking with school kids on February 22. The documentary has premiered at Sundance.
- Werner Boote’s The Green Lie “unmasks the sometimes subtle, often crass methods of ‘greenwashing’ with which companies deceive consumers.”
- Gilles de Maistre’s La quête d’Alain Ducasse (The Quest of Alain Ducasse) is a profile of chef who holds three stars in the Michelin Guide.
- Lisa F. Jackson and Sarah Teale’s Patrimonio, in which “Mexicans manage to protect their village from takeover by a U.S. construction company.”
- Eric Khoo’s Ramen Teh is a narrative feature set in Singapore.
- Thomas Morgan’s Soufra is about “a group of women in a Lebanese refugee camp” who find that setting up a food truck is their ticket out.
- Louie Psihoyos’s The Game Changers is about vegetarian athletes.
- Jacopo Quadri’s Lorello e Brunello: “In Tuscany, the views of the landscape are magnificent but there is no future in sight for the peasant farmers.”
- Emily Railsback’s Our Blood Is Wine, about the 8,000-year-old tradition of cultivation in Georgia (the country, not the state).
- Asori Soto’s Cuban Food Stories is a road movie.
The new additions to the Panorama program, with notes from the festival and a few extras:
Al Gami'ya (What Comes Around), directed by Reem Saleh. Documentary. World premiere. The “residents of one of Cairo’s poorest districts have developed a bank-free financing system for themselves.”
Až přijde válka (When the War Comes), Jan Gebert. Documentary. World premiere. It “treats the global trend of a socially acceptable form of nationalism using the example of the young Slovak paramilitary organization ‘Slovenski Branci.’”
La enfermedad del domingo (Sunday's Illness), Ramón Salazar. With Bárbara Lennie, Susi Sánchez, Greta Fernández, Miguel Ángel Solá, and Richard Bohringer. World premiere. A “mother and her daughter find their way back to one another following years of estrangement.”
Familienleben (Family Life), Rosa Hannah Ziegler. Documentary. World premiere. Biggi, her two daughters and ex-boyfriend struggle to make ends meet in a tiny village in Saxony-Anhalt.
Game Girls, Alina Skrzeszewska. Documentary. World premiere. Two “women attempt to escape life on Skid Row, the USA’s ‘Capital City of the Homeless.’”
Garbage, Q. With Tanmay Dhanania, Trimala Adhikari, and Satarupa Das. World premiere. A “young woman endures a nightmare of male violence.”
Generation Wealth, Lauren Greenfield. Documentary. International premiere. It “raises awareness for the way in which the self-indulgent quest for luxury and the total surrender to vanity lead to a sort of ‘ultra-decadence,’” and it’s premiered at Sundance.
Genezis (Genesis), Árpád Bogdán. With Anna Marie Cseh, Enikő Anna Illési, and Milán Csordás. World premiere. It “takes up the series of attacks on Roma in Hungary in 2008/2009, exposing their effects on the victimised families and the community as well as casting light on the failures of the Hungarian judicial system.”
Hojoom (Invasion), Shahram Mokri. With Abed Abest, Elaheh Bakhshi, Babak Karimi, Pedram Sharifi, and Mehdi Etemad Saied. International premiere. It “adeptly establishes an oppressive mood with its post-apocalyptic science-fiction world devoid of sunlight.”
Horizonti (Horizon), Tinatin Kajrishvili. With George Bochorishvili, Ia Sukhitashvili, Jano Izoria, and Soso Gogichaishvili. World premiere. A “man is at risk of losing his footing in life entirely after a separation.”
Hotel Jugoslavija, Nicolas Wagnières. Documentary. European premiere. “Wagnières elevates an abandoned Grand Hotel to the status of contemporary witness to history, acting on his principle of ‘filming to retain and regain.’”
Inkan, gongkan, sikan grigo inkan (Human, Space, Time and Human), Kim Ki-duk. With Mina Fujii, Jang Keun-suk, Ahn Sung-ki, Lee Sung-jae, Ryoo Seung-bum, Sung Ki-youn, and Joe Odagiri. World premiere. People “of widely differing backgrounds assembled on a warship develop a bestial need for patriarchal domination.”
Je vois rouge (I See Red People), Bojina Panayotova. Documentary. World premiere. The director “confronts her parents with their possible connections to the Bulgarian secret police.”
Jibril, Henrika Kull. With Susana Abdulmajid, Malik Adan, Doua Rahal, and Emna El-Aouni. World premiere. It “depicts the isolation and love experienced in the interaction between a single mom and a prison inmate.”
Kinshasa Makambo, Dieudo Hamadi. Documentary. World premiere. It “provides insight into the brutal everyday existence of Congolese resistance fighters.”
Koly padayut dereva (When the Trees Fall), Marysia Nikitiuk. With Anastasiia Pustovit, Sofia Halaimova, Maksym Samchyk, Mariia Svizhynska, and Alla Samoilenko. World premiere. It “encompasses the frightening and enchanting experiences of three generations of women.”
Land, Babak Jalali. With Rod Rondeaux, Florence Klein, James Coleman, and Wilma Pelly. World premiere. Focuses on “members of a Native American family who are defending their cultural identity with dignity.” The still at the top of this page was shot by Damian Hernandez.
Lemonade, Ioana Uricaru. With Mălina Manovici, Steve Bacic, Dylan Scott Smith, Milan Hurduc, and Ruxandra Maniu. World premiere. Produced by Cristian Mungiu. The “American Dream remains tauntingly out of reach for those who cannot afford to buy a piece of it.”
Marilyn, Martín Rodríguez Redondo. With Walter Rodríguez, Catalina Saavedra, Germán de Silva, Ignacio Giménez, and Rodolfo García Werner. World premiere. From the CICAE: “Marcos, a seventeen-year-old farm worker, discovers his sexuality in a hostile environment. Nicknamed Marilyn by other teenagers in town, he becomes the target both of human desire and discrimination. Marcos feels himself pushed into a corner more and more.”
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., Steve Loveridge. With Maya Arulpragasam. Documentary. International premiere. It “portrays the controversial star between the labels attached to her by the music and media industries and her self-image as a Sri Lankan resistance artist,” and it’s premiered at Sundance.
Mes provinciales (A Paris Education), Jean Paul Civeyrac. With Andranic Manet, Corentin Fila, Gonzague Van Bervesselès, Diane Rouxel, Jenna Thiam, and Sophie Verbeeck. World premiere. Set “in a Parisian millennial student milieu.”
O processo (The Trial), Maria Ramos. Documentary. World premiere. About former Brazilian president Dilma Roussef’s impeachment.
Ondes de choc - Journal de ma tête (Shock Waves - Diary of My Mind), Ursula Meier. With Fanny Ardant, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Jean-Philippe Ecoffey, Carlo Brandt, Stéphanie Blanchoud, and Jean-Quentin Châtelain. International premiere. An episode of the Swiss miniseries about an eighteen-year-old confesses to killing his parents.
Ondes de choc - Prénom: Mathieu (Shock Waves - First Name: Mathieu), Lionel Baier. With Maxime Gorbatchevsky, Michel Vuillermoz, Ursina Lardi, Mickael Amman, Adrien Barazzone, Piere-Isaïe Duc, and Nastassja Tanner. International premiere. Another episode, this one set in the 1980s and focusing on seventeen-year-old Mathieu, the lone survivor of a serial killer.
Partisan, Lutz Pehnert, Matthias Ehlert, and Adama Ulrich. With Frank Castorf, Sophie Rois, Kathrin Angerer, Herbert Fritsch, Henry Hübchen, and Alexander Scheer. Documentary. World premiere. It “takes a look back at Frank Castorf’s twenty-five year legacy at Berlin’s Volksbühne theater.”
Rou qing shi (Girls Always Happy), Yang Mingming. With Nai An, Yang Mingming, Zhang Xianmin, Li Qinqin, Huang Wei, and Yuan Li. World premiere. It “showcases the verbal duels of an odd mother-daughter duo searching for happiness in art or daydreams of getting rich quick.”
Shakedown, Leilah Weinraub. Documentary. World premiere. It “immerses the viewer in the Afro-American queer strip club scene of 1990s Los Angeles, relating its protagonists’ search for freedom and self-determination with great immediacy.”
Shut Up and Play the Piano, Philipp Jedicke. With Chilly Gonzales, Peaches, Leslie Feist, Sibylle Berg, and Jarvis Cocker. Documentary. World premiere. On the “conceptual art of Canadian musician Chilly Gonzales, self-proclaimed president of the Berlin underground.”
The Silence of Others, Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar. Documentary. World premiere. Produced by Pedro Almodóvar, it depicts the “long overdue pursuit of those guilty of crimes perpetrated under the dictatorial Franco regime.”
The Silk and the Flame, Jordan Schiele. Documentary. World premiere. A portrait of rural conflict in Central China’s Henan province.
Styx, Wolfgang Fischer. With Susanne Wolff and Gedion Oduor Wekesa. World premiere. “Nearly dialogue-free, the film tells the story of a female doctor on a sailing holiday gone unexpectedly sour somewhere between Europe and Africa.”
La terra dell'abbastanza (Boys Cry), Damiano D'Innocenzo and Fabio D'Innocenzo. With Matteo Olivetti, Andrea Carpenzano, Milena Mancini, Max Tortora, and Luca Zingaretti. World premiere. Two “young men discover an ostensibly simple way out of a sticky situation.”
Tinta bruta (Hard Paint), Marcio Reolon and Filipe Matzembacher. With Shico Menegat, Bruno Fernandes, Guega Peixoto, Sandra Dani, and Frederico Vasques. World premiere. From Berlinale Talents: “Pedro meets Leo. They fall in love, while thousands of people watch them through a webcam. Tired of the lack of privacy, they turn off the lights. To find out that love glows in the dark.”
Trinta Lumes (Thirty Souls), Diana Toucedo. With Alba Arias and Samuel Vilariño. World premiere. It “reimagines the Galician backcountry as a mythical place populated by both the living and the dead.”
Xiao Mei, Maren Hwang. With Chen Yi-Wen, Liu Kuan-Ting, Na Dow, Wu Chien-Ho, Yin Shin, Laurence Chiu, Chang Shao-Huai, Samantha Ko, Wu Kang-Jen, and Jao Cincin. World premiere. It “investigates the enigma surrounding the disappearance of a young woman.”
Yardie, Idris Elba. With Aml Ameen, Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Fraser James, Sheldon Shepherd, and Everaldo Creary. European premiere. It tracks “the journey of a young man from Kingston to London,” and it’s premiered at Sundance.
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