In light of both its crowned and uncrowned gems, “the Berlinale with this Competition once again showed itself to be a showcase for thoughtful and sensitive world cinema” (Spiegel Online), which is often drowned out in the everyday film business by blockbuster bluster. At the same time, some critics did complain about the perceived lack of radical and provocative works in the Competition, one of them mourning the “wild bear” of the past (Frankfurter Rundschau).
Another anniversary and a farewell
The Panorama, Forum, Generation, Berlinale Shorts, Perspektive Deutsches Kino and Culinary Cinema sections presented the Berlinale’s diversity of themes and forms in their usual outstanding way. Leading up to the Festival, Panorama section director Wieland Speck spoke of “a new global boldness”, which was corroborated by his programme in the days to follow. The documentaries seemed at times to be stealing the show from the feature films – at least according to the results of the Panorama Audience Award: Berlinale audiences voted five documentary films to the top of the list. In the end Lucy Walker prevailed with Waste Land and set a record as the first director to be awarded the coveted prize twice (in 2007 she won with her film Blindsight).
At 40, the Forum also had a milestone anniversary to celebrate. It was observed with twelve blocks of films looking back at years past, with section history highlights by Hou Hsiao Hsien to Chantal Ackermann selected by different Forum directors. Two founding members and long-time curators of the International Forum of New Cinema, Ulrich and Erika Gregor, were also honoured with a Berlinale Camera. Initiated in the late sixties as a counter-event to the Berlinale and as a platform for political, private and formal extremes and experiments, the Forum stayed its course in the 60th Berlinale year. Forum Expanded provided an additional artistic space for reflection and innovation, inspiring and offering up for discussion new developments on and beyond the screen.