“C’est finit” – this was in all honesty the last sentence in the last film I saw at the Berlinale this year. Simply perfect!
The International Berlin Film Festival ended last night and I am happy, exhausted and glad I didn’t have to be at Potsdamer Platz at 8:30 am this morning. I saw a few boring, a few excellent, a few confusing and a few funny films, one could conclude: It was a little bit of everything.
The awards of the Berlinale were announced last Saturday and although I saw 14 out of the 19 films that were competing for the Golden Bear – Berlin’s price for the best film – you may guess which one did not flicker in front of my eyes this week. Thus I can’t say anything about the Romanian Winner Child’s Pose. But as soon as I see it at another festival or in the cinema I will certainly let you know.
Child’s Pose (D: Calin Peter Netzer, ROM 2012)
The grand price of the jury was also given to an Eastern European film: An Episode in the life of an Iron Picker. This film describes the a shocking episode from the life of a very poor Roma family very still, calm captured in shaky images. When the child in Sanaras womb dies, doctors refuse to perform the routine surgery without the family paying for it. Because they cannot afford the surgery a battle against time, the system and the fear begin. The story is based on a gruesome true story and is played by those that went through the experience. Nazif Mujic received the silver bear as best actor for the re-enactment of his life’s traumatic episode.
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (D: Danis Tanovic, BIH/F/SLO 2013)
The audience award for best documentary was awarded to The Act of Killing, which I recommended last week. Filmmaker Josh Oppenheimer documents an experiment that asks gangsters and killers of the 65/66’s in Indonesia to stage the memories of their deeds – which they actually celebrate up to this day. The film takes a look into the reasons for evil and develops new perspectives that hurt and shock.
The Act of Killing (D: Joshua Oppenheimer, DK/NO/UK 2012)
One of my personal Berlinale favorites was Closed Curtain. It is the contribution to the competition from Jafar Panahi, the Iranian filmmaker who is under house arrest and not allowed to leave his motherland was a favorite of many critics, but finally ‘only’ won the silver bear for best script.
A young woman represents melancholy and depression, while an elderly man embodies will to survive, refusal to give up ones art. The story is an insight into the artist Panahis, who is forbidden to work by the Iranian government, world of thoughts. It’s a deeply political piece, which still moves and touches deeply and personally!
Closed Curtain (R: Panahi/Partovi, Iran 2013)