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Reporting from Berlin on the 68th edition February 15 -25, 2018
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters bring you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives. WATCH OUR VIDEO COVERAGE TRAILERS INTERVIEWS AND AMBIANCE

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BERLIN 2017, Day 3' Films in Exotic Languages, Lingala and Samoan


Akex Dekron <>



Samoan Director Tusi Tamasese was on ZOO Palace stage to introduce his Samoan language film "One Thousand Ropes"


Day number 2 at Berlin was marled by two films in languages hardle ever heard on cinema screen, The Lingala language from Congo and The Polynesian language, Samoan, from New Zealand. To take the second first, this is probably the first time the Samoan language has been heard in a feature film. (for the non-linguists out there there, Samoan is vowel rich but consonant poor Polynesian language Related to Tahitian and Hawaiian). 

 Tusi Tanasese's film focusing on the domestic life of an urbanized Samoan family in Wellington, New Zealand where Samoans constitute the largest non-white community next to the indigenous Maoris, is almost claustrophobic in that most of the action takes place in extreme closeups within the confines if a single house that also  serves as the family bakery business. Maea, the pater familias of this Samoan clan, is a older nan who has a mistress and an official "woman" (wife) as well,  and a son he considers a wimp and a coward, He is also a part time healer and assists in the extra hospital delivery of babies when called upon by women who don't trust white hospitals. An important part of the birthing ritual is the burial of the placenta in the ground, presumably to guarantee the prolongation of the people.  

If nothing else this film provides a no-holds barred Insiders look into the lives of an impoverished Island people now living under spare third world conditions in a Samoan ghetto in the capital of New Zealand. 

There are non smiles or light  moments in this gloomy picture of life in the Ghetto raw, but the stoic figure of white haired Maea  is somehow hypnotic and brought enthusiastic applause at the end  from a Pecked house Saturday night showing at the lavish ZOO Palace cimema in West Berlin. the title refers to the myriad connections between people. The film is in the prestigious Panorama section if the festival.

NOTE: The Zoo Palast with plently of leg room and reclining seats as on a first class plane flight, is probably the most comfortable cinema venue oh planet Earth,


African actress Vera Tshanda Beya may well be in the running for a Best Actress Bear for her gripping performance innthe title roke of Competition film Félicitè.the way poor Lingala spraking people live there and introduces a mostbstriking new African actress. Since Congo was a Belgian colony for the entire first half of the XXth century French's still widely spoken there and shares the screen time about fudty-fifty.

The competition film "Félicité takes plave in the Congolese capital city Kinshasa and is clearly a low budget Tnird World film but nevertheless affords unvarnished insights into with the indigenous local language, Lingala. 

FELICITE is the name of the central figure of the film. As a child she was so named to bring Happiness to the family after ut was feared that she had died in Childbirth

Félicité sings in a bar in Kinshasa. When her 14-year-old son has a motorcycle accident, she goes on a frantic search through the streets of Kinshasa, a world of music and dreams. trying to collect the money needed to bave a life saving operation performed on her son.

Also seen today.


A long drawn out (Pun intended ) artificial story of the final portrait painted by World famous Swiss  sculptor Alfredo Giacometti (1901 - 1966).The film is divided into 18 tedious days with Australian actor Geoffrey Rush portraying the last days of the eccentric artist in his stdio paintin, erasing, Nd repainting the portrait of a young Anerican who with e trairdinary patience, keeps canceling his reservation to feturn home, merely for the dubios privilege if being painted by the crazy artist.  This is a complete bore that might have been halfway interesting if they cut it offf around day four. Nice try, thank you. No cigar.

The day was highly enriched by a visit to the Turkish stand at the EFM (The European Film Market) but thatt is a stiry unto itself. The big event so far has been the restored three hour film by Fassbinder entitled the World on a Wire. (Die Welt am Draht) 


Geoffrey Rush as Giacometti. Thus picture shoulda stayed at home.

Alex, Berlin

Day three



About Berlin

Chatelin Bruno

Berlin 2016: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Ole Schulz Lia Fietz, Aida Amasuno Martin, Martin Petrov and Bruno Chatelin...
Ambiance, film reviews, trailers and podcasts, EFM insider information, and much more.
Feel free to leave us your comments and share the blogs with more fans from the festivals scene.


October 30, 2015 Deadline for film entries for the festival (feature length films)
November 17, 2015 Deadline for film entries for the festival (short films)
January 6, 2016 Application deadline for accreditations
February 2, 2016 Programme Press Conference at the "Federal Press and Information Office"; access with invitation only
February 11, 2016 Opening Ceremony of the
66th Berlin International Film Festival
February 11-19, 2016 European Film Market
February 13-18, 2016 Berlinale Talents
February 14-16, 2016 Berlinale Co-Production Market
February 20, 2016 Closing & Award Ceremony of the
66th Berlin International Film Festival
February 21, 2016 Berlinale Publikumstag




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