The 'There is no evil' team, after receiving the Golden Bear. TOBIAS SCHWARZ AFP
Taken from The World
Tradition attributes to Berlin, its festival and everything else, an inexorable commitment to, precisely, commitment. This has been the case throughout Dieter Kosslick's tenure, two whole decades. Year after year, the official section, increasingly away from the great authors, insisted on giving a thorough review of all the political anomalies in the world. And by faith that they were, are and will continue to be many. The new team, with Carlo Chatrian and Marriette Rissenbeek at the helm, and under the demand of the German cinematography public letter by means of, arrived this year with the idea of changing course. Commitment yes, but not only political. And there the almost sacred and undoubtedly recognized names of Tsai Ming-Liang, Hong Sang-soo, Philippe Garrel, Aberl Ferrara or Kelly Reichardt appeared. But since inertia can do almost everything, the Golden Bear ended up in the most obviously political of all the political films submitted to competition: There is no evil, by Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof.
And it is for two reasons: for the matter discussed (the death penalty) and for the painful and unjust absence of its director held in his country more for what he thinks than for what he does, as Jafar was before Panahi, for example. The jury chaired by Jeremy Irons surrendered both to the Berlinale tradition and to the evidence and placed on the altar a film that, beyond dealing with capital punishment, wants to approach the moral conflict that always poses obeying a law that, by the For whatever reason, it is considered, believed and known to be unjust. Rasoulof's point of view is not so much that of the victim as that of the executioner. Can a regime in this case oblige its subjects before its citizens to comply with what is reduced to the administrative procedure of killing a person? Can death be just that: a certified document? Where is the limit of freedom and where is that of justice?
Let's say that of the four stories that make up the director's film of the impeccable A Man of Integrity, the first is the one that sets the tone and the one that, in truth, points the way to what, finally, the rest of the film does not. dares to do or to be. In it, a man is carried away by the daily life of a suitably happy life, anonymous by dint of absent-mindedness. And so until the moment when you press a button, a simple and vulgar action that ensures your life and that of yours. But was there ever an innocent gesture? The problem is Especial that immediately afterwards the film becomes ritualized, approaches melodrama and, ultimately, loses depth and the ability to hurt. But by then the message is clear and how can we not reward the obvious? Either by tradition or by the absent director or by the harshness of the obvious.
Fair? And here, like Borges' trails, they forked. It is strange, if not incomprehensible, that two of the best films shown (if not simply the best) have been completely left out. NI Days by Tsai Ming-Liang nor First cow by Kelly Reichardt appeared. Forgetting the two works that best define the renewal effort of the 70th edition of the Berlinale is disconcerting. The first of them for representing the best imaginable return of the Taiwanese master after years of silence. And for choosing precisely Berlin instead of, for example, Cannes, his natural place. In the second case, the reason for the surprise is similar. No one better than the American director has been able to combine the tradition of the cinema from which it comes with the need for the cinema to come. Remember, it is a 'western', but upside down.
The rest of the track record seemed like a balancing act for what was already lame. Or just blind. Never rarely sometimes always, by Eliza Hittman, was chosen to fill the position of the Grand Jury Prize. And thus he completed an incomprehensible doublet. With exactly the same accolade, he left Sundance. Ugly image for the festival in charge of starting the year. The cold and emotional dissection of the old woman of two teenagers in the background of every night deserved more. Few times has the cinema approached in such a crude and intelligent way so visceral not only abortion but also the entire structure of patriarchal society that condemns it, makes it dirty, everything makes it sick. What a great lost Golden Bear.
At the start of the festival, Jeremy Irons made it clear that he regretted his past statements against both abortion and gay marriage. Let's just say your regret hasn't gone so far to reward a gay love movie (Days) or place another on abortion (Hittman's) right where it should. But the latter are just wanting to get tangled up.
As for everything else, little to discuss. By now the mistakes are too big. Hong Sangsoo was singled out as the headmaster to be singled out and who's resisting? The woman who ran is another proverbial work on the very meaning of purification. And about the woman. And about time. And about the human condition. It is minimalist cinema where every second is discovered by essential necessity. Eventually, a category will have to be created for the Korean director and, thus, with each of his works, award the Hong Sangsoo Award to Hong Sangsoo. There is no other remedy.
That Elio Germano took the award for best actor for his volcanic work in Volevo nascondermi, by Giorgio Diritti, was not only logical but, like the interpretation itself, 'superlogical'. The characterization of the painter Antonio Ligabueque as the interpreter who already has an award at Cannes is so exaggeratedly out of the norm that there are only two options: reward him or withdraw the floor. And the second is an exaggeration. Elio is nice. Beside him, from an almost opposite position, Paula Beer became the actress of this February for her enigmatic gaze. Just keeping his eyes open is enough for Beer to turn Undine into the most provocatively fantastic film from his director Christian Petzold. The move to replace Nina Hoss (the German filmmaker's muse to date) promises many joys.
And by the end, seeing the delirious comedy Effacer l'historique, by Benoit Delépine and Gustave Kevern, with the special statuette for this being the 70th edition was, without a doubt, fun. And successful, why not. At least much more correct than the award for photography for DAU. Natasha by Ilya Khzhanovskiy. It seems outrageous that one of the most insane, megalomaniac and brutal film projects (this is just one of the 13 exaggerated films about exaggerated Stalinist power) in contemporary cinema goes home with the mention of photography. It's like rewarding Mandela for the color of his shirts. Nobody says it should not be done, but its true merit is another. And with this no one wants to compare the South African leader with anyone … Enough.
Despite the more than remarkable official competition, it was left with an old-fashioned record. Anyone who sees the award-winning films in the future and believes that this was the Berlinale 2020 will be wrong. The good was rewarded, not the best.
LIST OF AWARDS
This is the list of the main awards, both official, from the jury chaired by British actor Jeremy Irons, and from the so-called parallel independent juries:
Golden Bear: “There is no Evil” (“Sheytan vojud Nadarad”), by Mohammad Rasoulof (Germany, Iran)
Grand Jury Prize: “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”, by Elizza Hittman (USA)
Silver Bear for Best Director: Hong Sangsoo, for “The Woman Who Ran” (“Domangchin Yeoja”).
Silver Bear for best actress: Paula Beer, for “Undine” “(Germany)
Silver Bear for best actor: Elio Germano, for “Volevo Nascondermi” (Italy)
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay: “Favolacce”, by Fabio and Damiano D'Innocenzo (Italy)
Silver Bear for artistic contribution: “DAU / Natasha”, by Ilya Khrzhanovsky and Jekaterina Oertel (Germany, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Russia)
Special Silver Bear of the 70th edition: “Effacer l'historique”, by Benoït Delépine and Gustave Kervern (Belgium, France)
Best film in the “Encounters” section: “The Works and Days”, by CW Winter and Anders Edström (USA, Sweden, Japan, UK)
Jury Prize for the “Encounters” section: “The Trouble with Being Born”, by Sandra Wollner (Austria, Germany)
Best direction of the “Encounters” section: Cristi Puiu for “Malmkrog” (Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Sweden)
Special mention of the “Encounters” section: “Isabella”, by Matías Piñeiro (Argentina)
Best Documentary: “Irradiés”, Rithy Panh (France, Cambodia)
Best First Feature Award: “Los conductos”, by Camino Restrepo (Colombia, France)
Golden Bear for Best Short Film: “T”, Keiha Rae Witherspoon (USA)
Silver Bear of the Jury for the short film: “Filipiñana”, by Rafael Manuel (Philippines, United Kingdom).
Generation 14Plus Section Jury Prize: “Meu nome é Bagdá”, by Caru Alves de Souza.
Crystal Bear to the best short film of Generation: “The name of the son”, by Martina Matzkin (Argentina).
Grand Prize of the Generation KPlus International Jury: “Los lobos”, by Samuel Kishi Leopo (Mexico).
Amnesty International Award: “Weolcome to Chechnya”, by David France (Russia).
Ecumenical Jury Prize: “There is no Evil”, by Mohammad Rasoulof (Germany, Iran.
“Der Tagesspiegel” Readers Award: “Window boy would also like to have a submarine”, by Álex Piperno (Uruguay).
International Critics Award, FIPRESCI, in the official section: “Undine”, by Chistian Petzold (Germany).
International Critics Award, FIPRESCI, in the “Encounters” section: “A metamorfose dos pássaros”, by Catarina Vasconcelos (Portugal).
Teddy Award for LGTB cinema, best feature film: “Futur Drei”, by Faraz Shariat (Germany).
Teddy Award for LGTB cinema, best short film: “Essay of a farewell”, by Agustina Comedi (Argentina).