New Delhi: The German Embassy is hosting a film festival with a focus on the city of Berlin. From April 7 to 18, eight films will be screened at the India Habitat Centre, each of them portraying the city of Berlin from a different angle. Berlin and its film directors have been at the forefront of filmmaking for more than a century. The curated festival endeavors to put a spotlight on the city’s immensely diverse history and its great variety of cinematic styles. The aim of the festival is to display this variety of films about Berlin, while covering a maximum of different directors and periods.
The opening film of the festival on Thursday, April 7 is the 2015 documentary about Berlin’s vibrant post-punk underground scene titled ‘B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989’. The second film on the lineup is Walter Ruttmann’s 1927 classic titled ‘Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis’, which will be screened on April 8. It is essentially an emblematic ‘city symphony’ film structured to follow the life of Berlin as well as its inhabitants across the course of a single day, from dawn to dusk.
Leander Haußmann’s comedy film ‘Sonnenallee,’ which follows a group of kids growing up in East Berlin in the late 1970s, will be screened on April 9. The fourth film on the lineup, to be screened on April 10, is Wim Wender’s 1987 masterpiece ‘Der Himmelüber Berlin’ about invisible, immortal angels who populate Berlin and listen to the thoughts of its human inhabitants, comforting the distressed.
The next film on the lineup is Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s 2006 Oscar-winning drama ‘Das Leben Der Anderen’ (The Lives of Others), which will be screened on April 12. Set in 1984 East Berlin, it follows an agent of East Germany’s secret police who, while conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself increasingly
absorbed by their lives.
Wolfgang Becker’s 2003 tragicomedy film ‘Good Bye Lenin!’ will be screened on April 15. Set in East Berlin between October 1989 (a few days before the Berlin Wall came down) and October 1990 (a few days after German reunification ), the film follows a young man who attempts to protect his fragile mother – a passionate communist – from a fatal shock after she comes out of a long coma. He does so by concealing from her the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in East Germany.
The second last film on the lineup, to be screened on April16, is Tom Tykwer’s 1998 blockbuster ‘Run Lola Run’. The experimental thriller follows Lola who has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks to save her boyfriend’s life after a botched money delivery.
The festival comes to a close on April 18 with Sebastian Schipper’s 2015 critically acclaimed ‘Victoria’: a crime thriller shot in a single continuous take which follows a young Spanish woman who meets four local Berliners outside a nightclub; but what starts as an exciting adventure quickly turns into a nightmare.
Sharing his thoughts about the festival, H.E. Mr. Walter J. Lindner, German Ambassador to India, said:
“Not many people know that Berlin played a crucial role in the great beginnings of film history, alongside Bollywood and Hollywood over 100 years ago. The Roaring Twenties, the division of Germany and life in Berlin as the multicultural capital of a reunited Germany, all these significant developments have found their way into masterpieces of the German film industry. As diverse and colorful the city of Berlin was and continues to be, so is its vibrant film scene. I am delighted that with our Berlin Film Festival we will now show some of these masterpieces to our Indian audience.”
Speaking about the screenings, Mr. Johannes Höber, Cultural Counsellor at the German Embassy, said:“The vibrant city of Berlin is an object of fascination for culture-loving audiences world-wide. With our Berlin film festival, we want to give Delhiites an insight into the magic of Berlin, through the lenses of some of its most thrilling movies.”