The great Berlinale Internaltional Film Festival 2015 is over. Time for a short wrap up of the films I've watched. I'll include the one sentence review that I always tweeted right after each film.
This overview is sorted by ranking, so you can easily spot the must watch films.
Must watch films
The films that were outstanding got a rating of 5/5. Those are the ones that I feel everyone should watch and will probably enjoy.
Unforeseeable, amusing trip that paints a diverse picture of today's Iran
Classic tragic suspenseful love story
Although the film is originally from 1925, it shows that stories about love are timeless. The top rating is mostly due to the atmosphere the live music created. I'm not sure if it is that impressive when watched with audio through speakers.
Vergine giurata (Sworn Virgin)
Touching film about family and finding the gender identity
This drama doesn't need much words, it evolves a lot through the pictures. It's one of the films that moves slowly without being lengthy.
Uncommon, clever and complex film about love and relationships
It took me a while to really understand what's going on, but it's exactly that cluelessness that makes that film that great.
Tell Spring Not to Come This Year
Extremely disturbing/moving documentary about Afghan troops after ISAF
There's not much news how things are in Afghanistan with the ISAF troops leaving, it got quite silent. It's thanks to one of the film makers that served himself in Afghanistan for the British troops that made it possible to have such an great insight view on how the war against the Taliban is still ongoing. The Panorama Audience Award is well deserved.
Danielův Svět (Daniel’s World)
Stunning must-watch documentary about coming-out as pedophile
This documentary touches a topic I've never thought of before. How can you live with being a pedophile? I really admire the protagonist. He speaks openly about his life, desires and problems. How shows well, that pedophiles shouldn't be lumped together with child abusers. The vast majority of child abusers are not even pedophiles, children are often just an easier target for them.
These are the films that I really liked (a rating of 4/5). Though I guess some of them depend really a lot on my personal taste.
Nadie quiere la noche (Nobody Wants the Night)
Tragic critism of humanity about love and friendship
It was the first film I watched at the Berlinale, I didn't know what to expect and how many great movies I was going to see. Looking back I think it's only a 3/5.
Starts slow, get's disturbing film about different moral concepts and anger management
It sometimes has a great use of pop music.
Hedi Schneider steckt fest (Hedi Schneider is Stuck)
Anxiety states and the effect on the family
I mostly decided to watch this one as one of my favourite films Farland starring the same main actress Laura Tonke. I wasn't disappointed. It was also interesting to hear that a lot of scenes that were in the original script got left out during the cutting process. And this is really what the film feels like, it's reduced to the story it wants to tell.
El Club (The Club)
Weird moral concepts under the cover of the Catholic Church
This is really a dark and sometimes bizarre movie. The Silver Bear is well deserved.
Gripping film about Martin Luther King Jr's fight for the voting rights of the black
I had the luck to be at the gala event of the film. It luckily doesn't feel as lengthy as the running time suggests.
Knight of Cups
In search of life fulfilment
I'm sure many people dislike the movie. If you don't know the feeling of emptiness inside, although you have everything. And don't know how it feel to search for something without neither finding, nor what you're exactly looking for, then don't watch it.
A film full of emotions about unconditional love
I needed to watch this movie as I generally enjoy films from Iceland and additionally the director Dagur Kári also directed on of my favourite films Nói albínói. This one didn't touch me as much as Nói albínói back in the days, but it's still a pleasant film to watch.
De ce eu (Why me?)
Solid film portraying a young prosecutor fighting the system in Romania
It wasn't that easy to follow the film, given that it was a complex matter and with sub-titles. I rated the film higher after I got to know that it is heavily based on a real person (even the affair is part of that).
Stories of Our Lives
Pleasant collection of episodes about homosexuality in Kenya
It's a collection of short films, all in the same style. Some are funny, some are tragic.
Ten no chasuke (Chasuke’s Journey)
Funny japanese style film about prevision
Madare ghalb atomi (Atom Heart Mother)
Getting pulled into something without much choice
I changed that tweet three times. First the rating (up to 4/5), then the contents. Thanks to someone nice sitting next to me in the next film, I was able to hear what others thought about it as it wasn't really clear to me. During the next film I then suddenly felt like understanding what it was about and how great it was.
In case you also don't feel like getting the point, feel free to get in touch with me and we can discuss it.
"Anger without opponent" [quotation of the director]
It's not a film about a shiny world where everything is fine. It shows well that things go wrong and there needs something to be done in our society. It manages to be drastic without getting unrealistic.
Interesting retrospective of yugoslavian refugees from the view of a child
It was interesting to see a film whose footage was shot many years ago an is solely based on VHS tapes.
Me’kivun ha’yaar (Out of the Forest)
Documentary showing personal perspectives on the WWII mass murder in Ponary
If war crimes happen, people often pretend they didn't knew it, don't remember or are just not talking about it. This documentary shows that it can also be a relief for some to be able to finally speak about what happened.
These are films that I enjoyed but are not really special (rating of 3/5).
Solid film about hindsight making a change even at old age
I consider this a harmless main stream movie that is good to watch.
Seeds of time
Interesting documentary about Cary Fowler's mission to preserve the bio diversity
The topic it covers is really interesting. I didn't rate it higher as the documentary itself isn't done that well. Sometimes I felt like I've heard that information before. It could have been condensed. It was also not really pushing forward a story as other documentaries did. I wonder if a 40 minutes version of it could say the same.
Beautiful pictures about an end of high school girl dealing with pregnancy
It's a very atmospheric film. I enjoyed watching it. Though it's sadly nothing special.
Elser (13 Minutes)
Being fed up with the system and the urge to take action on your own
It's a solid main stream movie based in Nazi Germany. It's interesting, well told and played. It reminded me of a TV production you'd watch with your family on a Friday evening on public TV.
Cha và con và (Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories)
Living as young gay in today's Vietnam
I really liked the pictures, but the story is a bit shallow.
Mysterious film about self-doubts and self-discovery
It almost got a rating of 4/5, but somehow the overall movie didn't cut it for me.
Freie Zeiten (After Work)
Entertaining documentary with interesting views on recreational activites
It was OK to watch with some funny situations, though overall just too average
Sergio Herman, Fucking Perfect
A workaholic trying to get out of it
Well made documentary, but sadly too much of a portrait of Sergio Herman. I found documentaries about people that change or try to change the world more interesting.
Cobain: Montage of Heck
Solid, but average documentary about Kurt Cobain
I don't know what I expected, but somehow I expected more of the documentary. It was interesting and well made, but just wasn't as good as other documentaries I've seen.
The following are films with no rating or a rating of 2/5 or less. All of them were feature films.
Coping with sorrow
I might have been too tired when I watched that, but somehow I couldn't connect to it, hence it only got a 2/5.
Journal d'une femme de chambre (Diary of a Chambermaid)
Waiting for the grand finale to no avail
I was always waiting for the twist or the scene that adds another perspective, but it just didn't happen, hence it's only a rating of 1/5.
Pod electricheskimi oblakami (Under Electric Clouds)
The film is divided into seven episodes spanning over two hours. After each episode some people left the cinema. I also felt like one episode would've been enough. Rating: 1/5.
Historic narration of the situation in Walachia in the 19th century
As my interest is not in historic movies about Walachia it's a 1/5.
Berlinale Shorts I
No notable short film
The shorts were really disappointing. I would've expected more of a short movie selection at the Berlinale. The Filmtage Augsburg do a better job on the selection.
I don't really understand what the intention of this film was. It even wasn't much clearer after the Q&A session. It's supposed to be about the tension of the relationships of the main character between his girlfriend and his mother. I also didn't understand the end. As it had nice pictures and someone might get the point I decided to not giving a rating.
I accidentally bought a ticket for this one. I thought it would be short films, but it was a movie in the Forum Expanded section. It seemed like a well made documentary, but I felt knowing too little about art and the culture in South Africa. Hence I refrained from rating it.