Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)

02/10/2022

Festival Reviews

Love to Love You, Donna Summer

Love to Love You, Donna Summer

From early days in Boston to the height of her stardom and sudden crash, this affectionate documentary made with major family involvement doesn’t probe deep enough or contextualize her career, but it reminds us that Donna Summer was a terrific performer whose talents were minimized by the moniker “Queen of Disco.”

Art College 1994

Art College 1994

Painter-filmmaker Liu Jian’s third animated feature (his second in Berlin competition) lacks the bite to capture the painful realities faced by Chinese art school students as their country opened up to the West and capitalist ideals.

Suzume

Suzume

The latest YA fantasy adventure from Japanese anime master Makoto Shinkai is a beautifully written and animated work of the imagination that incorporates elements of ‘Your Name’ and ‘Weathering with You’ and often sails beyond them.

ALLENSWORTH

ALLENSWORTH

James Benning’s latest, bowing in the Berlin Forum, offers a powerful comment on racial politics in the U.S. in a static-shot portrait of the first settlement to be founded and governed by African-Americans.

In Water

In Water

South Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo teases all the humour and melancholy out of his young cast in a comedy of awkward manners, bowing in the Berlin sidebar Encounters.

20,000 Species of Bees

20,000 Species of Bees

Extraordinary for its sensitivity and perception, Estibollz Urresolo Sologuren’s story of an 8-year-old girl’s growing discomfort with being perceived as a boy is a landmark in the filmic discussion of gender, sexuality and identity.

Music

Music

Angela Schanelec returns to Berlin with another weird, challenging film destined to thrive only in ultra-art houses and academic spaces based on its austere approach to narrative enjoyment.

In the Blind Spot

In the Blind Spot

A bold and chilling political thriller of shifting perspectives in which the weight of state-sanctioned terror begins to crush a security agent in eastern Turkey, where trauma and paranoia rip apart the social fabric.

Samsara

Samsara

Lois Patiño’s latest contains a fascinating cinematic experience though the work as a whole will likely receive a more mixed reception.

The Burdened

The Burdened

A hard-pressed couple in Yemen’s port city of Aden search for a doctor to perform an abortion in Amr Gamal’s excellent, understated yet hard-hitting portrait of a family and their city in desperation.

Between Revolutions

Between Revolutions

Vlad Petri’s visually captivating yet structurally slippery found-footage film reflects on the suppression faced by young, idealistic Romanian and Iranian women under self-avowed “revolutionary” regimes.

Past Lives

Past Lives

A remarkably delicate, moving romance destined to be a major indie hit, boasting superb dialogue, terrific performances and an insightful understanding of how the what-ifs of life so often dangle around the perimeters of our lives.

Silver Haze

Silver Haze

Dutch director Sacha Polak and British actress Vicky Knight reunite for an even looser-limbed slice-of-life story after their ‘Dirty God,’ which opened Rotterdam in 2019.

Love to Love You, Donna Summer

Love to Love You, Donna Summer

From early days in Boston to the height of her stardom and sudden crash, this affectionate documentary made with major family involvement doesn’t probe deep enough or contextualize her career, but it reminds us that Donna Summer was a terrific performer whose talents were minimized by the moniker “Queen of Disco.”

Art College 1994

Art College 1994

Painter-filmmaker Liu Jian’s third animated feature (his second in Berlin competition) lacks the bite to capture the painful realities faced by Chinese art school students as their country opened up to the West and capitalist ideals.

Suzume

Suzume

The latest YA fantasy adventure from Japanese anime master Makoto Shinkai is a beautifully written and animated work of the imagination that incorporates elements of ‘Your Name’ and ‘Weathering with You’ and often sails beyond them.

Awards Corner

Berlin

  • for
    Alcarras (Spain, Italy)
    Director: Carla Simon
  • Silver Bear for
    The Novelist's Film (South Korea)
    Director: Hong Sang-soo
  • Silver Bear for
    Robe of Gems (Mexico)
    Director: Natalia Lopez Gallardo
  • Silver Bear for
    Both Sides of the Blade (France)
    Director: Claire Denis
  • Silver Bear for
    Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush (Germany, France)
    Meltem Kaptan
  • Silver Bear for
    Nana | Before, Now & Then (Indonesia)
    Laura Basuki
  • Silver Bear for
    Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush (Germany, France)
    Laila Stieler
  • Silver Bear for
    Everything Will Be OK (Cambodia, France)
    Director: Rithy Panh