Strong entries in the sections
As in 2011, intergenerational conflict was a central theme in the Forum. The section focused on the blind spots of global image-making, with an emphasis on the tsunami and ensuing nuclear accident in Fukushima. Three films from three different directors, each who approached the invisible heart of the disaster. Praise was heaped upon the small series dedicated to the nearly extinguished Cambodian filmmaking of the 1960s and early 1970s. Christoph Terhechte’s team managed to bring viewable prints of three works to Berlin. They were shown as representatives of an entire generation of Cambodian filmmakers that was nearly totally annihilated when the Khmer Rouge took power. Andreas Busche wrote in the tageszeitung on February 2, 2012: “What was shown on the screen couldn’t be outdone in terms of creativity, folkloric curiosity and primitive fantasy in the most beautiful sense […]. When, later in the night, the lights went on in the cinema, we felt as if we had just awoken from a dream.” The praise was all the more beautiful since the Cambodian cineastes of that time effectively refused to give in to demands for faster, more precise reports and political engagement.
With Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank), the Forum displayed a good measure of self-irony: What does a Filipino film need to be shown at the Berlinale? A trash dump, starving kids and a story of abuse! No sooner said than done! The Forum did in fact invite the director Marlon N. Rivera and his team to Berlin. “The subject is the exploitative mechanism of the global festival circus, which is thoroughly capable of controlling the image production of countries that are marginal in terms of the film industry, until the next ‘young, wild cinema’ is discovered in a far-flung corner of the world and the caravan moves on.” (Alexandra Seitz, Berliner Zeitung, 13.02.2012).
The Generation section entered its 35th year well and section head Maryanne Redpath was happy that its second year in a dedicated venue, namely the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, was as successful as its premiere in 2011. Thematically, many of the films dealt with departures from rigid structures and paths toward one’s true self – which can sometimes be found by returning to one’s roots.