From our special envoy in Berlin
For its last edition, Dieter Kosslick, the head of the Berlinale, has wanted to do. Seven of the seventeen films in competition, or 41%, are the work of female directors ! A new level. #MeToo is spent there. “We would not have done if the movie had been bad”, stressed the director of the international festival of Berlin.
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Distrust all the same. The golden Bear has been awarded in the past two years, women for two films improbable (understatement) no one has seen, otherwise the jury and a few critics masochistic – Body and soul , Ildyko Enyedi in 2017 and Touch me not , Adina Pintillie. It is therefore reasonable to worry about this “positive” discrimination, and, at the same time, for the mental health of Juliette Binoche, president of the jury this year, therefore, obliged to see everything.
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it was she who said (in French) opened the Berlinale on Thursday night before the screening of the first film of the competition, The Kindness of strangers . A title in English ( The Kindness of strangers ?) for a film of the Danish Lone Scherfig located in New York and shot with american actors and european. A euro-pudding like we still unfortunately. The story? One winter morning, Clara (Zoe Kazan) takes his two boys under his arm to escape a husband policeman being violent. She lands in Manhattan, sleeping in his car, stealing food from the buffet at major hotels, and ends up sleeping in a home to the homeless.
Naturalism a little agreed
She meets several characters who try to help: a nurse who runs a support group in a church, a manager at a Russian restaurant out of jail (Tahar Rahim, who continues his learning of the English language), itself supported by his lawyer friend funny and a nice boss (Bill Nighy)… It navigates between pathos and cool and feel good movie of bitter. Fortunately, all ends well and the moral of the film triumph: life is ugly, but the nice people make life beautiful.
next, System crash would go almost to a film of the Dardenne. The second feature-length film competition, the German and debutante Nora Fingscheidt, sets the scene Benni, a nine year old girl, bounced around from home in a foster family since her mother can no longer care for them. It is necessary to tell that the blonde is a raging, rebellious, unpredictable, wild. A ball of anger and played with a conviction impressive by Helena Zengel. Around it, several figures of educator caring, take turns, including Micha, a guy accustomed to subdue offenders that is more leathery. Despite its energy, System crash fails to transcend naturalism a little agreed. It has the merit of not trying to make people believe that the nice people are enough to make life beautiful.
child abuse is found in Thanks to God , the first sensation of this Berlinale. She appears under the traits of mature men, adults for the most fathers of a family. The film by François Ozon, definitely capable of the best as the worst, is inspired by the journey of the victims of Bernard Preynat, a priest accused of paedophilia – it has acknowledged the facts – that the statement is in progress. These victims, former scouts of the troop of Sainte-Foy-Lès-Lyon, the filmmaker met them, thinking first to make a documentary before choosing a fiction which is very faithful to the reality.
Alexander Hezez, Francois Devaux and Pierre-Emmanuel Germain, the three pillars of the association, free Speech, bringing together the victims of father Preynat, are played, respectively, by Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet and Swann Arlaud. But Ozon does better than a docufiction activist. It sets the scene in a big way in the struggle of these men to make burst the truth, despite the price to pay in their family, their professional life. Before the title Thanks to God , Ozon had thought to call his film The Man who cries . A title equally eloquent. Ozon films of men damaged, weakened. But men who are not afraid of the tears to regain their dignity.