News 2019

The First Films of the 5th Berlin Critics’ Week

Heinrich, Reisinger, Serra, Keltek, Traoré Dahlberg, Vernier – the First Films of the 5th Berlin Critics’ Week

Feminist polemics, fragmented male glances, burst cultural boundaries and the capitalist claustrophobia of a technology park. For the fifth time, the Berlin Critics’ Week explores open film concepts and cinema as a conflict zone.

In the end will be the word: this year, the Berlin Critics’ Week closes with an evening featuring two authors who use film to negotiate their respective perspectives on feminism. Susanne Heinrich’s DFFB graduation film, “Das melancholische Mädchen”, deals with structural depressions and seeks out a critical view of power in cinema. Jovana Reisinger from Munich (HFF) has recently published her first book, “Still halten”. In her short film “Pretty Girls Don’t Lie”, she sarcastically draws feminism out from its opposite. Reisinger’s filmic practice flirts with the shimmering film designs of the Munich Group directors Klaus Lemke, Eckhart Schmidt and Rudolf Thome.

Albert Serra (“Story of My Death”) once again sacrifices a king to cinema in “Roi Soleil”. After Jean-Pierre Léaud, Serra’s regular actor Lluís Serrat plays the dying monarch in the sort-of sequel to “The Death of Louis XIV”, whose writhing this time is rendered abstract and bathed in red light. Playing with conventions of video art, Serra transforms dying into an empty ritual, further radicalising his own work.

With “Gulyabani”, the Berlin Critics’ Week presents the new film by Turkish experimental filmmaker Gürcan Keltek. Although Keltek’s politicised film work made it impossible for him to screen his film “Meteors” in Turkey, the film turned him into one of recent Turkish cinema’s most prominent voices internationally. Through free-flowing montages, his new film interweaves political violence with the oppression of the feminine and with a magical understanding of history.

The artist Theresa Traoré Dahlberg (“Ouaga Girls”, “Taxi Sister”) recently shot the documentary essay “The Ambassador’s Wife”. Her experiences in Europe, Africa and the United States gave rise to a transcultural contemplation of the wife of the French ambassador to Burkina Faso. Surrounded by employees in a magnificent villa, she dreams of a career as an opera singer. In a double programme with Virgil Vernier’s new feature “Sophia Antipolis”, the film opens up a negotiation space for the political staging of social tensions. Not least through “Mercuriales”, Vernier has become known for his critical observations of urban life in contemporary France. His new film uses the eponymous technology park near Antibes on the Côte d’Azur as a backdrop for beguilingly oppressive images of the present.

The 5th Berlin Critics’ Week will take place from 6 to 14 February 2019. The film programme starts on Thursday 7 February at the Hackesche Höfe cinema.

Berlin Critics’ Week is organized by the German Film Critics’ Association and funded by the Capital Cultural Fund, the Stiftung Kulturwerk of VG Bild-Kunst and the Rudolf Augstein Foundation.