The Berlinale is coming to Brussels

Although the Berlin Film Festival has lost some of its charisma over the past few years, it is still one of the leading European festivals. The Goethe-Institut is presenting seven films from the Forum of the Berlinale at Bozar.

The Forum is a section of the Berlinale that is famous for showcasing new trends and supporting films by directors who dare to be innovative. Seven films from this year’s selection are now being screened at Bozar, and there is very little chance that any of these films will be picked up for distribution in regular cinemas afterwards. In other words, be there if you don’t want to miss them. Five of the seven directors are honouring Brussels with their presence.

In the film Casting, Nicolas Wackerbarth has a filmmaker go in search of the perfect cast for a remake of Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant, one of the many classic films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In the documentary Aggregat, Marie Wilke explores how political opinions are formed in Germany in the recent past.

Political unrest and family time

But Waldheims Walzer by Ruth Beckermann, which won the award for best documentary in Berlin, looks even more interesting. The director stood in the crowd that chanted “Waldheim nein! Waldheim nein!” in 1986, to prevent Kurt Waldheim from becoming president of Austria. The former Secretary-General of the UN had become internationally contested due to lies he had told about his past in the German Wehrmacht. The Austrians had ignored the outrage and voted for Waldheim anyway.

Beckermann analyses the furious debates of the time and uses both footage from television archives and material that she herself recorded at the time but later lost sight of. She hopes that her documentary will shed light on the methods of masters of “alternative facts” like Donald Trump and Sebastian Kurz, the current chancellor of Austria.

The most famous name coming to Bozar must be Claire Simon. The French director likes to blend fiction and documentary and was widely applauded ten years ago for her Les bureaux de Dieu. In Premières solitudes, she follows adolescents at a school in one of the suburbs of Paris and captures their eloquent conversations about their families, their relationships with their parents, their first loves, and their ideas about the future.

FORUM BERLINALE 10/9 > 13/9, Bozar

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