This magazine and the texts in it were largely created by film experts. “Anyone who only understands cinema doesn’t understand anything about cinema” is how feminist film theorist and former critic Gertrud Koch would respond. A year ago, she received the Honorary Award of the German Film Critics Association — the organization that created the Berlin Critics’ Week and frames it as a venue for expertise. “Silencing” was the title of a debate in which Koch participated a few years ago as part of the Critics’ Week. She had a lot to say about the title and the two films that were discussed. And she still has a lot to say, because the conversation is still viewable online.
On the internet, the statements, the debates, the images from the past seven years feel like they are happening simultaneously, entering into new dialogues. An archive of debate culture has been created in the frame of our events, with new voices appearing this year. Each statement becomes part of a field of vision and the larger discourse that is cinema, each statement shapes what Critics’ Week is today. In its best moments, the Berlin Critics’ Week has always created a framework on its own, based on the energy of the encounters we established, the intensity of the discussions that we tried to foster.
This text introduces this year’s magazine before all the texts have arrived, just after the future was discussed at the opening conference and while the virtual events are in full swing. Some of the texts published here are intended to continue the questions of our conference, not to be content with the singular moment, to allow a sequence of thinking to emerge, to invent new framings. We hope that the contributions to this magazine will not be silent, nor silencing, and conceal as little as possible.