20°C / 22°C
  • Fri
  • 29°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 29°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 29°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 27°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 17°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 28°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 32°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 31°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 31°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 28°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 27°C
  • 18°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 16°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 32°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 32°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 32°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 32°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 27°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 18°C
  • Sat
  • 31°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 30°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 33°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 32°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 9°C

Chinese, Israeli movies tipped for Berlin filmfest gold

A jury led by French Oscar winner Juliette Binoche will select among 16 contenders for the Golden and Silver Bear top prizes at the 69th Berlinale, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year.

A poster depicting the logo of the Berlin film festival is pictured at the Potsdamer Platz during the 69th Berlinale film festival on 15 February 2019 in Berlin. Picture: AFP

BERLIN - A Chinese epic on the impact of the former one-child policy and an adventurous, sexually explicit Israeli drama about an expatriate in Paris looked to be the favourites at the Berlin film festival ahead of awards night Saturday.

A jury led by French Oscar winner Juliette Binoche will select among 16 contenders for the Golden and Silver Bear top prizes at the 69th Berlinale, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year.

During the last edition led by director Dieter Kosslick after 18 years at the helm, Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai moved audiences to tears with So Long, My Son.

Clocking in at three hours, it is a sweeping allegorical drama about two families whose fates become intricately intertwined across 30 years of dramatic change in their country.

"The story itself can be read as a scathing critique of the country's one-child policy, recently scrapped. There are also powerful scenes illustrating the painful fallout from China's manic lurch towards capitalism in the 1980s and early 1990s," the South China Morning Post said.

"But they never distract from Wang's goal, which is to show how ordinary people grapple with grief and moral dilemmas."

It faces strong competition from "Synonyms" by Nadav Lapid. The absurdist, broadly autobiographical movie tells the story of an Israeli who moves to Paris to flee the fraught political situation in his own country.

The picture is centred around "newcomer Tom Mercier, who delivers a raw, disconcerting and altogether unpredictable turn that recalls the work of a young Tom Hardy (this includes his ability to act without any clothes on)," the Hollywood Reporter wrote.

'SPIRIT OF RESISTANCE'

In a year in which a record seven contenders were women, North Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska's God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya proved to be a crowdpleaser.

It is based on the true story of a woman who spontaneously joins a male-only religious ritual: a river dive to retrieve a wooden cross.

The movie challenging abuses of church and state power in a patriarchal society drew three out of three stars from Time Magazine critic Stephanie Zacharek, while Britain's Sight and Sound called it a "vivid feminist satire".

Cinema-goers also embraced Ondog, a droll take on love and women's freedom set on the Mongolian plains by Chinese director Wang Quan'an, who clinched Berlin's Golden Bear in 2007 for "Tuya's Marriage".

Film industry bible Variety called his latest work "enchanting" and "wise".

Turkish director Emin Alper made a splash with A Tale of Three Sisters, a family drama set in poverty-stricken Anatolia.

Britain's Screen International hailed it as "a female recentering of Turkish rural history, a celebration of women's life force and spirit of resistance".

Acclaimed French director Francois Ozon presented a wrenching drama based on real-life victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, By the Grace of God.

The heroic portrayal of the men who stood up against their silencing won many admirers, with a 100 percent "fresh rating" on Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from critics.

Canadian filmmaker Denis Cote's Ghost Town Anthology about a small community wracked by grief and German director Angela Schanelec's I Was At Home, But on the return of a prodigal teenager both won points for audacious breaks with traditional storytelling.

Ahead of the main prizes, the Teddy Award for best gay-themed film went to Brief Story from the Green Planet by Santiago Loza about a trans woman on a journey through rural Argentina.

'POTENTIAL CAREER KILLER'

However, the competition was marked by major disappointments from some of Europe's most popular movie makers.

German-Turkish director Fatih Akin repelled audiences with The Golden Glove, a blood-soaked splatter movie that critics said exploited the real-life female victims.

Indiewire slammed it as "one of the most vile serial killer movies ever made, and a potential career-killer for Fatih Akin".

Poland's Agnieszka Holland, who has had a career renaissance directing episodes of House of Cards and The Wire, divided crowds with Mr Jones about a Welsh journalist who uncovered Stalin's man-made famine in Ukraine.

And the festival opener, Lone Scherfig's The Kindness of Strangers drew howls of derision, with London's Guardian calling it "a terrible idea, badly executed".

Last year, Romania's Adina Pintilie won the Golden Bear for her innovative sex docudrama, Touch Me Not.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus