Berlin is kicking off the most eagerly-awaited, largest, intense, engaging film festival in Europe. Running February 15-25 the 68th Berlinale is ready to welcome us packed with screenings from genre to independent and art house, from underground to documentaries, five sections (Competition, Panorama, Generation, Forum, Berlinale Shorts), retrospectives, homages, outstanding cultural and art events reaching out the widest audience of directors, producers, film industry professionals, festival goers and the whole film community. In Competititon of the 68th Berlinale 24 films from across the world competing for the Golden and Silver Bear; 12 will be featured in the Berlinale Special programme.
THE SEASON OF THE DEVIL by Lav Diaz – A black and white film set during the Martial Law period in Philippines. The story of a village under siege of militia and of a woman who as a doctor tries to help its inhabitants risking her life. A grim chapter of Philippines national history portrayed as a rock opera.
BLACK 47 by Lance Daly – Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, a drama of an Irish Ranger who abandons the British Army to help his family and his people to face the brutality of a national tragedy shocking him more than war.
7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE by José Padilha – The true event of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris and the daring rescue mission happened next.
DOVLATOV by Alexey German – A biographical film which explores four days in the life of the brilliant and glorified Russian-Jewish author Sergei Dovlatov in the city of Leningrad in 1971. An interesting collection of images of early 70s Leningrad.
ELDORADO by Markus Imhoof – Rescue ships, illegal work, refugees camps. A documentary which tackles the present migration crisis in Europe of 21st centur focusing on Mediterranean sea blended with personal memories of the film director whose family hosted a child escaping from Italy during WW2.
TRANSIT by Christian Petzold – Based on Anna Seghers’ novel Transit is the story of Georg, a war refugee trying to escape in France from Nazi persecution. He gets his hands on the personal papers of the dead author Weidel to assume his identity.
UTØYA 22. JULI by Erik Poppe – The reconstruction counting of the Utøya attack carried out by a right wing extremist in 2011 who killed 69 students of a summer school. A wild chase from the victims’ perspective.
AMERICA LAND OF THE FREEKS by Ulli Lommel – A satira docufilm, a sharp glance at the America’s leading zeitgeist of today.
THE SILENT REVOLUTION by Lars Kraume – A group of sixth-grade pupils decide to show their solidarity with the victims of the 1956 Hungarian uprising by staging a minute’s silence during lessons.
VIAJE A LOS PUEBLOS FUMIGADOS by Fernando Solanas – The industrial agriculture and its devastating effects. Set in the province of Salta in northern Argentina, old forests are being cleared to make way for huge soya plantations the documentary shows how indigenous farmers are being driven out of their villages and are no longer allowed to use the access roads while toxins spread are poisoning the fields.
THE INTERPRETER by Martin Šulík – 80-year-old Ali Ungar realises his parents were executed by an author of a book describing wartime activities in Slovakia during WW2. In search for revenge, he comes across the son of the former SS official responsible of the crime. He had avoided his father all his life, he decides to help Ali as a interpreter with surviving witnesses. A very keen picture of a country and its conflicting memories.
PROFILE by Timur Bekmambetov – The thought-provoking story of a British journalist who goes undercover and infiltrates the digital propaganda channels of the so-called Islamic State, which has been mobilising ever greater numbers of young women from Europe. Her daily internet contacts with an ISIS recruiter gradually pull her in and push the limits of her investigation.
I SEE RED PEOPLE by Bojina Payanotova – The confrontation between the director and her parents with their possible connections to the Bulgarian past secret police. An insight into post-communist Bulgaria.
HOTEL JUGOSLAVIJA by Nicolas Wagnières – The director elevates an abandoned Grand Hotel to the status of contemporary witness and survivor.
GARBAGE by Q – The story of a young woman obsessed with the idea of being victim of male violence
KINSHASA MAKAMBO by Dieudo Hamadi – An insight into the brutal everyday existence of Congolese resistance fighters in the framework of protests against Kabila’s refusal to step down and prolong his mandate.
CENTRAL AIRPORT THF by Karim Aïnouz – The everyday lives of refugees in the hangars of the no longer in use Berlin airport Tempelhof.
LEMONADE by Ioana Uricaru – The story of Mara, a 30 year-old single mother from Romania married with an American. The Green Card release is unexpectedly longer and difficult, Nara is faced with abuses of power.
WHEN THE WAR COMES by Jan Gebert – An unsettling and hard-hitting picture of the rising of nationalism through the young Slovak paramilitary organisation “Slovenski Branci”.
GENESIS by Árpád Bogdán – The attacks on Roma that occurred in Hungary in 2008 and 2009, casting light on the failures and the inadequacy of the Hungarian judicial system.
THE SILENCE OF OTHERS by Almudena Carracedo – the story of how Spain pursued criminals under Franco regime. After decades of silence survivors of Spain dictatorship face their criminals.
THE TRIAL by Maria Ramos – A behind-the-scenes look at the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female President, portraying the political trial thanks to a unique access to the defense team of Dilma Rousseff. A picture of betrayal and corruption; Rousseff’s personal story from the former military dictatorship to the impeachment.
LAND by Babak Jalali – The Denetclaw Family live on the Prairie Wolf Indian Reservation. One day they get news of theirs youngest son’s death during military service in Afghanistan. The waiting begins to get his body back to the Reservation to be buried.
WHAT COMES AROUND by Reem Saleh – The residents of one of Cairo’s poorest districts have developed a bank-free financing system for themselves.
GENERATION KPLUS & GENERATION 14PLUS
DRESSAGE by Pooya Badkoobeh – A girl robs a corner shop with friends. They forget to take the security camera footage. One of them must return to the crime scene to get it. The film is centered on a story depicting the uncompromising power of money in the modern society of Iran.
HENDI & HORMOZ’ by Abbas Amin – The story takes place on Iran’s Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf, where hematite deposits in the soil turn the ocean waves blood-red. 16-year-old Hormoz is jobless married to Hendi who becomes pregnant and is jobless the young man finds closed doors instead of a job. unexpectedly, Hormoz is forced to make an ill-advised deal with a smuggler.
FORTUNA by Germinal Roaux – The story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl who is given shelter for the winter in a Swiss catholic hospice after arriving in Lampedusa. While she waits for heir fate to be decided by the Swiss authorities, Fortuna meets Kabir, a 26-year-old African refugee, and falls desperately in love. Their relationship develops in secret, till the day Kabir disappears.
WHAT WALAA WANTS by Christy Garland – Director Christy Garland’s documentary follows the rebel Palestinian girl Walaa over the course of five years, from age 15 to 20. Her mother was incarcerated in an Israeli prison for eight years and she is eager to join the Palestinian National Authority even if she profoundly distrusts any kind of authority.
VICTORY DAY by Sergei Loznitsa – A film centered on the huge crowds that gather each year at the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin-Treptow on May 9th. People come dressed in their best outfits or in Soviet military uniform, carry flags, banners and posters. They sing, dance, drink celebrating the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany.
ONE OR TWO QUESTIONS by Kristina Konrad – The film director collected opinions on the streets of Uruguay at the end of the 1980s, in relation to a referendum to granting impunity to those who supported the military dictatorship.
WALDHEIMS WALZER by Ruth Beckermann – Edited entirely from international archive footage, the story of the scandal surrounding the Nazi past of former UN General Secretary and Austrian president Kurt Waldheim was making headlines worldwide. A film about truth and lies or “alternative facts”. The allegations by the World Jewish Congress during his Austrian presidential campaign, the denial by the Austrian political class, the outbreak of anti-Semitism and patriotism, which led to his election.
THEATRE OF WAR by Lola Arias – The story of how six veterans from the 1982 Malvinas/ Falklands War came together to make a film. Almost thirty-five years after the conflict, three British and three Argentine veterans spent months together discussing their war memories and then rehearsing their re-enactment.
THE SON by Alexander Abaturov – Dima is killed at the age of 21 during a military operation in Daghestan. His brothers in arms continue to train for war in harsh conditions that create strong bonds between them.
STATELESS by Narjiss Nejjar – The film gives an account of a historical event that still dictates the relationship between Morocco and Algeria to this day. In 1975 45,000 Morocco families were booted out from Algeria. The story of a determined woman who attempts to prevail over the border between the two countries.
14 APPLES by Midi Z – A soothsayer suggests Shin-hongs to live in a monastery for a couple of weeks and eat one apple a day. A sample showing beliefs and costumes of Buddhismus in Burma.
THE WOLF HOUSE by Cristobal León and Joaquín Cociña – The story of Maria, a young woman who takes refuge in a house in southern Chile after escaping from a German colony, the infamous Colonia Dignidad.
OUR MADNESS by João Viana – A journey through war-torn Mozambique experienced by Lucy hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital her little son, Hanic, and her husband, Pak, who is a soldier of the war. Lucy has a remarkable touch for music and run away from the hospital wanders through the city searching for her family.