My First Berlinale

It was supposed to be my second one. Last year I bought one way ticket to Berlin to attend Berlinale, only to leave it unused as I got school assignment on weekend. So, sayonara Berlinale 2015. I thought it should be this year, although I didn’t really push it. It was just I didn’t have too many things to do (oh yeah, I still go to school by the way 😛 ) and I found a reasonable ticket to Berlin. Hell yeah, we’re meant to be, Berlinale. 😀

The fact that the tickets of the films I wanted to see were already sold-out online kind of broke my heart, but I still got some optimism to get them when I got to Berlin.

Alright, I didn’t get the tickets of some of my so-called dream films at the festival, but at least I managed to get 5 tickets: 4 feature films and 1 for Berlinale shorts. Here goes the adventure:

1. Den Allvarsamma Leken (A Serious Game)

Berlinale - A serious game

The thought was to at least attend one Berlinale Special Gala while in Berlin. The choice was film Den Allvarsamma Leken (A Serious Game) by Swedish director Pernilla August. That it’s a Scandinavian film co-production (Sweden, Norway and Denmark), I’d had no idea until I sat down at the cinema. And that the main actor is actually Icelandic, later I found out. I think it was pretty good, although I must say I didn’t get emotional.

2. Soy Nero

Berlinale - Soy nero

The crowd for film Soy Nero by director Rafi Pitts at Friedrichstadt Palast. About a Mexican boy who crosses the border to US and wants to join the army so he can become a US citizen. This film is dedicated to the US Green card soldiers who were deported after having served in the army. Some might think it’s told in slow pace, but it captures the real moments, in my opinion. I liked it.

Later I found this article Soy Nero: Berlin Review I agree with their review saying that the war sequence is strong and gripping. I think that is the best part of the film.

3. La Route D’Istanbul

I was interested in this film since the theme is really fresh, about a Belgian mother whose daughter is converted to Islam then later on the way to Syria to join the Jihad movement there. I’m a Muslim and I heard this kind of story. What is the right thing about finding your path when it’s to ignore your mother, especially as she is the only parent you have and using her credit card (without telling) to go where you want to go. This is pretty emotional film for me. I remember there are scenes where there are some women sitting under the tree, while the men standing, all of them watching from a far a town hit by the bombs. The Belgian mother approaches them and one woman saying something in her language, I had no clue what she was saying, but there are some tears in my eyes, like I knew what she said was something sad. 😦

4. The Bacchus Lady

Berlinale - Bacchus Lady

South Korea is ranked as 11th wealthiest country in the world, however they have problem with their senior citizens, who don’t always have it good. In the beginning, the director E J-yong, said this film is about sex and death. It might sound harsh, the sex part comes first and the death part comes later. This is a good film. The main actress is also very good. I heard later that she is a well-known actress in South Korea, as she paused from film career for a while, and continued after her divorce. This was the director’s 5th time at Berlinale, I’m not sure if I had seen any of his films before, but after this film I’d really like to see his other films. There was a question at Q&A session after the film regarding the reason this film is also made in 3D (the director said that in the beginning), E J-yong said just because there was money for that. 😀

I managed to see one of the Berlinale shorts but I have to say nothing really impressed me that much. And since I was tired, I fell asleep in the first 2 of the short films. Oops, sorry.

The next post should be La Route D’Berlinale perhaps 😀

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