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Berlinale Unveils 2020 Forum Titles, Including Raúl Ruiz’s Completed ‘Tango of the Widower and Its Distorting Mirror’

The Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 20 to March 1, 2020.

“Uppercase Print,” an international premiere at the Berlinale.

The Berlinale continues to unveil its lineup, today announcing films selected for its Forum category: an independent section of the festival, organized by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, celebrating its 50th anniversary.

This intermeshing of old and new runs throughout the selection. The category offers challenging and thought-provoking films that bring together cinema with the visual arts, theatre and literature. Many of the 35 films in this year’s program — 28 of which are world premieres — are distinguished by how they navigate between past and present.

Included in the selection is late Chilean director Raúl Ruiz and his widow Valeria Sarmientos’ “The Tango of the Widower and Its Distorting Mirror,” which opens this year’s Forum. Ruiz, who died in 2011, shot the material in Chile in 1967, but was unable to complete it before going into exile in 1973. His widow Sarmiento has now transformed the footage into a finished film.

The film would’ve been a then-27-year-old Ruiz’s debut feature, were it completed in 1967, but he was forced to abandon the project due to lack of post-production funding.

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Per his own synopsis, the film follows “a man whose wife has committed suicide and appears to him as a ghost. The ghost follows him everywhere… After seeing the ghost so frequently, the man begins to resemble her, becoming more and more feminine, in a spiral in which we discover that he was never really married, and that what is really going on is his personality doubling and a schizophrenic game.”

According to production notes, Sarmiento used Ruiz’s handwritten notebooks to understand the film’s structure.

Soviet cinema classics such as the late Aleksandr Medvedkin’s “Schastye” (“Happiness”), and key feminist works like “The Woman’s Film” by the Newsreel Group, and documentaries about the American civil rights movement (“The Murder of Fred Hampton” by Howard Alk) will screen alongside radical features like “Ostia “by Sergio Citti, and “Gishiki” (“The Ceremony”) by Nagisa Ōshima.

The 70th Berlin International Film Festival will begin on Thursday, February 20, 2020 and end Sunday, March 1.

The full lineup follows:

“Anne at 13,000 ft”
Canada / USA
by Kazik Radwanski
European premiere

“Anunciaron tormenta” (“A Storm Was Coming”)
Spain
by Javier Fernández Vázquez
World premiere

“Chico ventana también quisiera tener un submarino” (“Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine”)
Uruguay / Argentina / Brazil / Netherlands / Philippines
by Alex Piperno
World premiere

“Entre perro y lobo”
Cuba / Spain
by Irene Gutiérrez
World premiere

“Eyimofe” (“This Is My Desire”)
Nigeria / USA
by Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
World premiere

“FREM”
Czech Republic / Slovakia
by Viera Čákanyová
International premiere

“Generations”
USA
by Lynne Siefert
World premiere

“Gli appunti di Anna Azzori” / “Uno specchio che viaggia nel tempo” (“The Notes of Anna Azzori” / A Mirror that Travels through Time”)
Austria / Germany / France
by Constanze Ruhm
World premiere

“Gorod usnul” (“In Deep Sleep”)
Russian Federation
by Maria Ignatenko
World premiere

“Grève ou crève” (Strike or Die)
France
by Jonathan Rescigno
World premiere

“Ieşirea trenurilor din gară” (“The Exit of the Trains)
Romania
by Radu Jude, Adrian Cioflâncă
World premiere

“Kama fissamaa’ kathalika ala al-ard” (“As Above So Below”)
Lebanon
by Sarah Francis
World premiere

“Kunst kommt aus dem Schnabel wie er gewachsen ist” (“Art Comes from the Beak the Way It Has Grown”)
Germany
by Sabine Herpich
World premiere

“La casa dell’amore” (“The House of Love”)
Italy
by Luca Ferri
World premiere

Lúa vermella” (“Red Moon Tide”)
Spain
by Lois Patiño
World premiere

“Luz nos trópicos” (“Light in the Tropics”)
Brazil
by Paula Gaitán
World premiere

“Maggie’s Farm”
USA
by James Benning
World premiere

“Medium”
Argentina
by Edgardo Cozarinsky
World premiere

“Namo” (“The Alien”)
Iran
by Nader Saeivar
World premiere

“Oeconomia”
Germany
by Carmen Losmann
World premiere

“Ouvertures”
United Kingdom / France
by The Living and the Dead Ensemble
World premiere

“Petit Samedi”
Belgium
by Paola Sermon-Daï
World premiere

“Ping jing” (“The Calming”)
China
by Song Fang
World premiere

“Responsabilidad empresarial” (“Corporate Accountability”)
Argentina’
by Jonathan Perel
World premiere

“Seishin 0” (“Zero”)
Japan / USA
by Kazuhiro Soda
European premiere

“El Tango Del Viudo y su espejo deformante” (“The Tango of the Widower and Its Distorting Mirror”)
Chile
by Raúl Ruiz, Valeria Sarmiento
World premiere

“Tipografic majuscul” (“Uppercase Print”)
Romania
by Radu Jude
International premiere

“Traverser” (“After the Crossing”)
France / Burkina Faso / Belgium
by Joël Richmond Mathieu Akafou
World premiere

“The Twentieth Century”
Canada
by Matthew Rankin
European premiere

“The Two Sights”
Canada / United Kingdom
by Joshua Bonnetta
World premiere

“Victoria”
Belgium
by Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere
World premiere

“The Viewing Booth”
Israel / USA
by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
International premiere

Vil, má (Divinely Evil)
Brazil
by Gustavo Vinagre
World premiere

“Was bleibt I Šta ostaje” I “What remains” I “Re-visited”
Germany / Austria / Bosnia and Herzegovina
by Clarissa Thieme
World premiere

“Zeus Machine. L’invincibile” (“Zeus Machine. The Invincible”)
Italy
by Nadia Ranocchi, David Zamagni
International premiere

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