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  • Romy Kraus

#BerlinalePanorama: Programme Announced

Riz Ahmed in Mogul Mowgli by Bassam Tariq

Young, political, combative: the 70th Berlinale Panorama tells of migration and the search for and discovery of an inner notion of home, the overexploitation of our planet and it unveils bold narratives of queer identities. Directors Karim Aïnouz, Andrea Štaka and Francisco Márquez as well as the actors Ben Whishaw, Sandra Hüller and Stellan Skarsgård all present new films in the programme.

The films in the 2020 Panorama display a noticeable change: time is running out, societies have their backs against the wall. In the midst of global crises, cinema demands, and finds, stimuli for change.

Films in the Panorama

A l'abordage France by Guillaume Brac with Éric Nantchouang, Salif Cissé, Édouard Sulpice, Asma Messaoudene, Ana Blagojevic World premiere

One summer night in Paris, Félix meets Alma by chance and they get along beautifully. He decides to surprise her at the place where her family is holidaying in the south and enlists his best friend in an adventure that will not leave them quite the same.

Always Amber Sweden by Lia Hietala, Hannah Reinikainen World premiere / Debut film / Panorama Dokumente

Amber belongs to a queer generation which no longer wants society to dictate their identity. The teenagers proudly inhabit a spectrum of fluid identities and master their first loves and losses.

The Assistant USA by Kitty Green with Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Kristine Froseth, Makenzie Leigh International premiere

Jane has started her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. Her day is much like any other assistant’s, but she is soon confronted with an abusive daily routine, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered.

Aufzeichnungen aus der Unterwelt (Notes from the Underworld) Austria by Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel with Kurt Girk, Alois Schmutzer World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

A love letter to Vienna’s underworld of the 1960s that is also a social portrait of post-war Austria. Viennese folk singer Kurt Girk and his friend Alois Schmutzer discuss their lives in Vienna’s criminal milieu – for which they served long prison terms.

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets USA by Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross International premiere

A final binge in a closing bar on the edge of Las Vegas. With clear-sighted observation, the film allows us to share the familiarity between the regulars, creating the impression that we are sitting amongst them.

Cidade Pássaro (Shine Your Eyes) Brazil / France by Matias Mariani with O. C. Ukeje, Chukwudi Iwuji, Indira Nascimento, Paulo Andre, Ike Barry World premiere

Musician Amadi has not heard from his older brother Ikenna in a long time. He travels from Nigeria to the Brazilian metropolis of São Paulo but cannot find him. Cidade Pássaro is an enigmatic exploration operating on several levels.

Days of Cannibalism France / South Africa / Netherlands by Teboho Edkins World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

Documentary meets genre cinema in this Western from today’s Lesotho, where modern pioneers of capitalism clash with local traditions, and aspiring Chinese merchants compete for supremacy with traditional Basotho cattle breeders.

Digger Greece / France by Georgis Grigorakis with Vangelis Mourikis, Argyris Pantazaras World premiere / Debut film

When Jonny visits his reclusive father Nikitas in his cabin in the woods after 20 years, the hermit ignores him. But to prevent the muddy ground from being pulled out from under their feet for profit, father and son must dig deep into it.

Eeb Allay Ooo! India by Prateek Vats with Shardul Bhardwaj, Shashi Bhushan, Mahender Nath, Naina Sareen, Nitin Goel, Nutan Sinha Debut film

Monkey repellers such as Anjani have an exceedingly tricky job in downtown New Delhi. With the sensitivity of a documentary and an Indian sense of humour, the film depicts the harsh life of a migrant and subtly mirrors today’s social realities.

Exil (Exile) Germany / Belgium / Kosovo by Visar Morina with Mišel Matičević, Sandra Hüller, Rainer Bock, Thomas Mraz

The signs that the pharmacologist Xhafer, who is originally from Kosovo, is being bullied at work are increasing – or is it just his imagination? Exile portrays an individual caught between integration and loss of identity.

Futur Drei (No Hard Feelings) Germany by Faraz Shariat with Benjamin Radjaipour, Banafshe Hourmazdi, Eidin Jalali World premiere / Debut film

German-Iranian Parvis’s life revolves around pop culture, Grindr dates and raves. Through refugee siblings Banafshe and Amon, Parvis rediscovers his roots. A sensitive film about first love and life as a migrant in Germany.

Håp (Hope) Norway / Sweden by Maria Sødahl with Andrea Bræin Hovig, Stellan Skarsgård

When Anja is diagnosed with a brain tumour, everyday life in her patchwork family implodes and her cooling relationship with her partner Tomas is faced with a new kind of reality.

I Dream of Singapore Singapore by Lei Yuan Bin International premiere / Panorama Dokumente

An insightful documentary about migrant workers in Southeast Asia. After an accident in Singapore, Bangladeshi Feroz gets help from a human rights organisation. This hypermodern city-state is chewing up and spitting out poor migrants to power its boom.

Jetzt oder morgen (Running on Empty) Austria by Lisa Weber World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

Lisa Weber’s portrait of Claudia, who had a son when she was 15 and who now lives with him, her mother and her brother in Vienna, is an affectionate and gentle film about the passing of time, and about what goes on when nothing seems to be happening.

Kød & Blod (Wildland) Denmark by Jeanette Nordahl with Sandra Guldberg Kampp, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Joachim Fjelstrup, Elliott Crosset Hove, Besir Zeciri World premiere / Debut film

After her mother’s death, Ida moves in with her aunt and cousins. Theirs is a loving family, but it soon transpires that the clan is engaged in criminal activities. A female-driven exploration of family conflict fueled by affection and cut-throat ethics.

Kotlovan (The Foundation Pit) Russian Federation by Andrey Gryazev World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

A found footage film compiled from countless YouTube videos in which the people of Russia make a direct appeal to president Putin. A kaleidoscope of the mood in the country – from submissive pleas to pure rage about injustice and rampant corruption.

Las mil y una (One in a Thousand) Argentina / Germany by Clarisa Navas with Sofía Cabrera, Ana Carolina Garcia, Mauricio Vila, Luis Molina World premiere

Set in a community of project houses, Iris, a young woman with a tough past, meets Renata and feels immediately attracted to her. A tender coming-of-age film about friendship and first love in a hostile environment.

Mare Switzerland / Croatia by Andrea Štaka with Marija Skaričić, Goran Navojec, Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Mirjana Karanović World premiere

Routinely, but with dedication, Mare runs her small family’s modest household, even though a new washing machine is not the only thing that is missing. When a chance encounter rekindles her libido, she does not hold back for long.

Minyan USA by Eric Steel with Samuel H. Levine, Ron Rifkin, Christopher McCann, Mark Margolis, Richard Topol World premiere

New York in the 1980s. David, 17, who is beginning to live out his homosexuality in the East Village gay scene, gradually questions the strict rules of his Jewish community.

Mogul Mowgli United Kingdom by Bassam Tariq with Riz Ahmed World premiere

Zed, a young British rapper, is about to start his first world tour, when a crippling illness strikes him down, and he is forced to move back in with his family. He tries to find himself between an international music career and Pakistani family traditions.

Nardjes A. Algeria / France / Germany / Brazil / Qatar by Karim Aïnouz World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

Accompanying activist Nardjes with his camera, Karim Aïnouz documents the youth culture, which is confidently taking to the streets for a democratic future in Algeria, whose independence their parents and grandparents have already fought.

One of These Days Germany / USA by Bastian Günther with Carrie Preston, Joe Cole, Callie Hernandez World premiere

In the Texan “Hands on a Hardbody” competition, contestants stand around a new pickup truck for days, touching it with one hand. Whoever holds out the longest wins the truck. A psychological portrait of poverty, wealth and despair.

Otac (Father) Serbia / France / Germany / Croatia / Slovenia / Bosnia and Herzegovina by Srdan Golubović with Goran Bogdan, Boris Isaković, Nada Šargin World premiere

Nikola’s children are taken away from him after social services decide that he is too poor to provide them with a decent living environment. He sets off on foot to lodge a complaint in Belgrade. A moving tale about inequality.

Pari Greece / France / Netherlands / Bulgaria by Siamak Etemadi with Melika Foroutan, Shahbaz Noshir, Sofia Kokkali, Argyris Padazaras, Lena Kitsopoulou World premiere / Debut film

Iranian mother Pari’s search for her missing son in Athens will force her on a journey to the dark corners of the city, as well as into the hidden depths of her own self.

Petite fille (Little Girl) France by Sébastien Lifshitz World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

The touching portrait of eight-year-old Sasha, who questions her gender and in doing so, evokes the sometimes disturbing reactions of a society that is still invested in a biological boy-girl way of thinking.

O reflexo do lago (Amazon Mirror) Brazil by Fernando Segtowick World premiere / Debut film / Panorama Dokumente

A black and white film about the people who live near one of the world’s largest hydroelectric plants in Amazonia. In the shadow of this environmentally destructive project, they eke out involuntarily meagre lives, without electricity or infrastructure.

Schlingensief – In das Schweigen hineinschreien (Schlingensief – A Voice that Shook the Silence) Germany by Bettina Böhler with Christoph Schlingensief, Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Alfred Edel, Udo Kier, Sophie Rois World premiere / Debut film / Panorama Dokumente

Using unpublished and newly digitalised archive footage and film material, Bettina Böhler has brilliantly assembled this film about the life and work of the exceptional artist Christoph Schlingensief, who died in 2010. A cinematic tour de force.

Schwarze Milch (Black Milk) Germany / Mongolia by Uisenma Borchu with Gunsmaa Tsogzol, Uisenma Borchu, Terbish Demberel, Franz Rogowski World premiere

In Uisenma Borchu’s second semi-biographical film, a young woman is searching for her roots and discovers an idiosyncratic, radical sensuality that not only transgresses Mongolian conventions but also those of the supposedly more liberal West.

Semina il vento (Sow the Wind) Italy / France / Greece by Danilo Caputo with Yile Yara Vianello, Feliciana Sibilano, Caterina Valente, Espedito Chionna World premiere

After years of absence, Nica returns to her native village. Her grandmother’s olive trees are threatened by a bug infestation. Against her father’s will, she fights to preserve the trees and maintain family traditions.

Si c'était de l'amour (If It Were Love) France by Patric Chiha World premiere / Panorama Dokumente

The creation and performance of Gisèle Vienne’s dance piece “Crowd” is superbly transposed to the screen in this sensual documentary. An exhilarating neon-lit fresco of a young party crowd set to the pulsating beat of loud electronic music.

Suk Suk Hong Kong, China by Ray Yeung with Tai Bo, Ben Yuen, Patra Au Ga Man, Lo Chun Yip, Lam Yiu Sing

A chance encounter brings Pak and Hoi together in Hong Kong. Both are grandfathers and both have lived married lives, providing for their families. A passionate and delicate film about love later in life.

Surge United Kingdom by Aneil Karia with Ben Whishaw, Ellie Haddington, Ian Gelder, Jasmine Jobson Debut film

Joseph leads an unexciting life between his flat and a soulless job at the airport. An impulsive act of rebellion propels him on an unbridled and reckless trip through central London in which he experiences what it feels like to be alive.

Un crimen común (A Common Crime) Argentina / Brazil / Switzerland by Francisco Márquez with Elisa Carricajo, Cecilia Rainero, Mecha Martínez, Eliot Otazo, Ciro Coien Pardo World premiere

Cecilia is too afraid one night to let her housekeeper’s son into the house. The next day his dead body is found. Francisco Márquez has created a ghostly shimmering narrative that describes the injustices of Argentinean society.

Vento Seco (Dry Wind) Brazil by Daniel Nolasco with Leandro Faria Lelo, Allan Jacinto Santana, Renata Carvalho, Rafael Theophilo World premiere

Between work, swimming and anonymous sex, Sandro lives a rather monotonous life in the hot and arid expanse of Goiás in Brazil. When Maicon, a Tom-of-Finland comic strip lookalike, appears in his small town, his life takes a turn.

Welcome to Chechnya USA by David France International premiere / Panorama Dokumente

The first documentary about the activists who join forces to save other people’s and their own lives in the face of the systematic persecution of the LGBTQI* community carried out by the Chechen authorities. A tour de force charged with resilience and courage.


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