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Berlinale 2024: Political until the end

2024-02-25T12:52:32.024Z

Highlights: Berlinale 2024: Political until the end. The Berlinale awards the Golden Bear to a documentary about stolen art - the most important prize. The award gala also repeatedly discussed the Gaza war, which has been raging since the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas on October 7, 2023. On stage, there was some clear criticism of Israel's actions in the Palestinian territory. This, in turn, met with opposition from several politicians. The Green politician Konstantin von Notz spoke of a “perpetrator-victim reversal”



As of: February 25, 2024, 1:36 p.m

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Matthias Glasner is on the red carpet after the awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast with the Silver Bear for the best screenplay for the film “Die”.

© Britta Pedersen/dpa

The Berlinale awards the Golden Bear to a documentary about stolen art - the most important prize.

The Gaza war is also present.

But the way this was handled at the awards gala was met with some strong criticism afterwards.

Berlin - The 74th Berlinale remained true to itself until the finale: the film festival handed out its awards based on political messages.

For the second time in a row, a documentary won the most important prize, the Golden Bear, on Saturday evening: The film “Dahomey” by French-born director Mati Diop deals with the return of looted art.

The award gala also repeatedly discussed the Gaza war, which has been raging since the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas on October 7, 2023.

On stage, there was some clear criticism of Israel's actions in the Palestinian territory.

This, in turn, subsequently met with opposition from several politicians.

The Green politician Konstantin von Notz spoke of a “perpetrator-victim reversal”.

Protest notes on the stage

This year's Berlinale was particularly marked by political debates - many filmmakers had already protested against right-wing extremism at the opening gala.

Others called for an end to the fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

At the awards ceremony, several people on stage carried a note that read “Ceasefire Now.”

Palestinian filmmaker Basel Adra called on Germany to stop supplying weapons to Israel.

The President of the German-Israeli Society, Volker Beck (Greens), then criticized the fact that this appearance had been applauded and left uncommented on the X platform (formerly Twitter).

This was “a cultural, intellectual and ethical low point” for the Berlinale, Beck wrote.

Adra made the documentary “No Other Land” with three other filmmakers and won the documentary film award for it.

The film is about the displacement of Palestinians in the villages of Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron in the West Bank.

Sharp criticism also came from Green Party politician von Notz after - elsewhere at the Berlinale gala - filmmaker Ben Russell spoke of “genocide” in connection with the Gaza war.

“It is simply disgusting and a perfidious perpetrator-victim reversal.

Such performances are unbearable, wrote von Notz at X.

The deputy chairman of the Bundestag Culture Committee, Marco Wanderwitz (CDU), wrote on be accepted.

Actor Lars Eidinger said after the award ceremony that he “can hardly remember times that were so political.”

But it would be “fatal if it were completely ignored or excluded for such an event,” said Eidinger.

The Berlinale has always been considered the most political of the world's largest film festivals.

In 2023, the documentary “Sur l'Adamant” won the Golden Bear.

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The return of art objects has been an issue for a long time - also in Germany

In the film “Dahomey,” which won the Golden Bear this year, director Diop, who has Senegalese roots, deals with art treasures that were looted from Benin in West Africa - then Dahomey - in 1892.

It follows 26 statues on their journey from France to their country of origin.

In total, thousands of works of art were stolen around 130 years ago and are still in France today.

The experimental documentary captivates with poetic passages - for example, one of the works of art speaks off-screen several times.

Part of the film shows a discussion in Benin among mostly young people.

They argue about whether the return should be seen as progress or as postcolonial arrogance.

Current problems in the country such as poverty and the lack of education are also discussed.

The return of art objects has been an issue in France and Germany for a long time.

In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the 26 objects would be returned to Benin.

The artifacts include statues, jewelry and a throne.

Beninese President Patrice Talon spoke out in favor of restitution of further works.

It is estimated that Europe hoards more than 90 percent of Africa's cultural heritage.

“Giving back is doing justice,” Diop said as she accepted the award.

People dream of my film: award winner Matthias Glasner

Several Silver Bears were also awarded.

One went to German director Matthias Glasner for the script of his emotionally heated drama “Die”.

In the film with Corinna Harfouch and Lars Eidinger in leading roles, the director dealt with the complex relationship with his family.

Glasner was initially worried that the drama might be too personal.

But it moved a lot of people.

“I've been stopped every few meters for days by people who say: 'Great film, it touched me so much, I'm dreaming of it,'” Glasner told the German Press Agency on Saturday evening.

And added: “It was somehow worth it that when you open yourself up so much that others open up too.”

“Don’t understand what you see in my film” - veteran director Hong Sangsoo

The Grand Jury Prize went to the melancholic comedy “Yeohaengjaui pilyo” (“A Traveler's Needs”) by South Korean veteran director Hong Sangsoo, starring Isabelle Huppert.

“I don’t understand what you see in my film,” Sangsoo said, visibly modestly, to the jury on stage.

Romanian-American actor Sebastian Stan won best actor for his performance in the tragicomedy “A Different Man.”

Britain's Emily Watson won the award for best supporting role in "Small Things Like These."

The 57-year-old came on stage with a crutch because of a broken foot.

The Frenchman Bruno Dumont received the jury prize for the sci-fi parody “L'Empire”.

Nelson Carlos De Los Santos Arias won the Silver Bear for best director for “Pepe,” an experimental film about a dead hippopotamus in Colombia.

The Austrian cameraman Martin Gschlacht was honored for his outstanding artistic achievement in the historical drama “Des Teufels Bad”.

New Berlinale peak from April

For the management duo Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, this was the fifth and last Berlinale in their position.

Tricia Tuttle will take over from April.

The American sat beaming in the audience at the award ceremony.

The festival ended on Sunday with a public day.

dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-02-25

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