about the sparse presence of female directors in competition at major film festivals, I’m pleased to announce that I’m handling three Berlinale Competition
films directed by women! Here’s my bottom line on all four of my Berlinale 2014 films (in order of appearance):
films, as in the 2011 Sundance hit THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975. His new film CONCERNING VIOLENCE was just shown at Sundance and will be presented in
the Berlinale’s Panorama Doc section. Based on radical political writer Frantz Fanon’s post-colonial studies work, the film shows how the price of freedom
in Africa has usually been paid with violence. Ms. Lauryn Hill’s distinctive and asssertive voice bring extra force to the texts. Unique style and editing
add to the powerful experience this important film offers.
Feo Aladag’s INBETWEEN WORLDS (ZWISCHEN WELTEN): I admire directors for the persistence, focus and stamina the best of them demonstrate in sticking to the
long and multifaceted process of making a film. Berlin-based director Feo Aladag is a fine example of a writer-director-producer’s unshakeable commitment
to a project. Feo puts the same passionate talent for cross-cultural interconnection into INBETWEEN WORLDS as she did in the Tribeca winner WHEN WE LEAVE
(DIE FREMDE). Ronald Zehrfeld (Christian Petzold’s BARBARA) as the troubled German soldier and the mostly non-professional Afghani cast are all terrific in
this smart and compassionate human drama.
film LA TERCERA ORILLA (lit. The Third Bank). This rigorously-constructed film boasts a smoldering performance by first-timer Alian Devetec as the broody
Nicolas. Celina keeps us guessing about her main character’s path as his overbearing father begins to dictate Nicolas’ future. Celina previously showed her
knack for films about youth in her acclaimed features A WEEK ALONE and ANA AND THE OTHERS. Her former Rolex Arts Initiative mentor Martin Scorsese
saying “You must check out this amazing new filmmaker!” I definitely agree that’s the case for Vienna-based Iranian Sudabeh Mortezai. She has successfully
captured the heart and soul of the refugee condition in her touching first fiction feature. In the leading role, 11-year-old Ramasan Minkailov is
phenomenal – sensitive, strong, charismatic.