Kristen Stewart's political protest in Berlin
The American actress and president of the jury protested on the red carpet with many colleagues in solidarity with women in Iran
Even though the Berlinale is in full swing, politics still attracts more attention than movies. After opening with a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the red carpet became a platform for a message of support for women in Iran.
Hollywood actress and jury president Kristen Stewart was in the spotlight at the protest, which also attracted festival executive director Mariëtte Rissenbeek, Iranian-French actress and jury member Golshifteh Farahani, and other activists who showed solidarity with the protesters in Iran.
"Like it or not, this festival, historically speaking, is confrontational and political in a positive way," Kristen Stewart said on the first day of the festival. She underlined her words with a clear attitude on the red carpet.
Admittedly, perhaps these political messages attract so much attention because the range of films so far has not offered anything spectacular. After the lukewarm reception of the romantic comedy She Came To Me directed by Rebecca Miller, which opened the festival, films continued with the same tone.
Perhaps the most commercial potential is the historical drama BlackBerry. Canadian director Matt Johnson (The Dirties, Operation Avalanche) showed in it the meteoric rise and even faster fall of Research In Motion. If the name of the company means nothing to you, it is about the creators of BlackBerry, the first real smartphone. Today, its share is insignificant, but at the end of the first decade of the XXI. century Blackberry dominated the market of mobile devices. At the height of its fame, RIM sold mobile phones worth as much as 20 billion dollars a year.
Johnson tells the story of BlackBerry in an entertaining and informative way. Most of the main points are here: geeks from the garage, unscrupulous businessmen, the rapid change of technologies... The humorous drama, with perhaps a little too caricatured characters, conveniently captured that moment in history, when the world of telephony turned upside down in just a few years.
Boris Becker's rise without falling
Director Alex Gibney left a lot more questions hanging over his head with the documentary Boom! Boom! World Vs. Boris Becker. Announced as the ultimate documentary about the rise and fall of Boris Becker, the most famous German tennis player, the focus nevertheless remained on - the rise. Although most viewers are primarily interested in Becker's life today, after he was released from prison for financial fraud, Gibney barely touches on that part.
In the 96-minute film, four fifths are devoted exclusively to Becker's sports career. It's impressive material - from footage of him training as a teenager with Steffi Graf, another German tennis sensation, to footage of his greatest triumphs with accompanying comments from Becker himself and other top players. But all this is great material for a sports channel. Not for the presentation at the Berlinale. However, Apple+, which will show the film, announced Gibney's project as a two-part series. Although it is not written anywhere in the press materials, it is to be hoped that we will see the second part that will talk less about Becker as a legend and more as a man.
A man, or more specifically a woman, is the focus of the intriguing Australian drama The Survival of Kindness. Australian-Dutch director Rolf de Heer's apocalyptic drama begins with the fascinating scene of a black woman imprisoned in a cage in the middle of the desolate Australian outback. She manages to escape and embarks on an odyssey through an apocalyptic world filled with war and suffering.
The Survival of Kindness is not a film for everyone. With its slow, almost meditative rhythm, not at all pompous dramaturgy and slightly surreal transitions, it demands a lot of attention from the viewer. For her, however, it offers a decent reward in the form of a visual contemplation of what goodness brings to this world.
The real pearl of the film is certainly the main actress Mwajemi Hussein. Although this is her first role, the 50-year-old Congolese came to Australia as a refugee and never thought about acting, Mwajemi captivates the viewer with her expressive face. He is already a big favorite for the acting award and certainly adds a lot to the believability of The Survival of Kindness.