Forum & Forum Expanded

Feb 04, 2020
O.K. in the Forum Anniversary Programme

In 1970, the German entry to the Competition split the Berlinale: the black-and-white film O.K., directed by Michael Verhoeven and produced by Rob Houwer. Most of the members of the jury perceived it to be anti-American. A major controversy flared up and the Berlinale ended without awarding the Bears. O.K. now returns to Berlin in 2020 as the official closing film of the Berlinale Forum’s anniversary programme.

Friedrich von Thun, Eva Mattes and Hartmut Becker in O.K. by Michael Verhoeven

The unrest of the late sixties also spread to film festivals. German film students in the orbit of Harun Farocki demonstrated at the experimental film festival in Knokke in 1967. In Cannes, the festival was cut short in 1968 after Jean-Luc Godard and his comrades-in-arms occupied the Palais of the festival. In the same year, students in Venice broke up the opening gala. In Berlin, a scandal took place in 1970 when a majority of the jury members under jury president George Stevens found the German entry to the Competition to be anti-American: O.K., produced by Rob Houwer and directed by Michael Verhoeven. The selection committee was asked to withdraw the film from the Competition. One jury member, Dušan Makavejev, protested against their actions, stood up for O.K. and supported Rob Houwer and Michael Verhoeven, with the festival eventually being called off. The Berlinale ended without the Bears being awarded. Reforms were introduced the following year. One of them was the founding of the International Forum of New Cinema, an independent section of the festival put on by the Friends of the German Film Archive.

O.K. takes place during Easter of 1966 and transposes the Vietnam War to the Bavarian forest. The plot is framed by alienation devices, with the actors seen slipping in and out of their roles. When Eva Mattes in the role of Phan Ti Mao rides past a section of cleared forest, the GIs come up with a brutal idea. The film is loosely based on a real-life war crime. The Berlinale Forum is presenting the world premiere of the digital restauration of O.K. carried out by Filmmuseum München.

Forum and Forum Expanded 2020 Anniversary Programme

Anaparastasi (Reconstruction)
Greece 1970
by Theo Angelopoulos
with Toula Stathopoulou, Jannis Totsikas, Thanos Gammenos

Angela – Portrait of A Revolutionary
USA / France 1971
by Yolande du Luart
Documentary form

El cuarto poder
Spain 1971
by Helena Lumbreras, Mariano Lisa
Documentary form

El Ghorba (Les passagers) (The Passengers)
Algeria 1971
by Annie Tresgot
with Mohammed Chouki
Documentary form

Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther
Algeria / France 1970
by William Klein
Documentary form

Gishiki (The Ceremony)
Japan 1971
by Nagisa Ōshima
with Kenzo Kawarazaki, Atsuko Kaku, Atsuo Nakamura

The Great Chicago Conspiracy Circus
Canada 1970
by Kerry Feltham
with Mel Dixon, Jim Lawrence, Neil Walsh
Documentary form

Der große Verhau (The Big Mess)
Federal Republic of Germany 1971
by Alexander Kluge
with Maria and Vinzenz Sterr, Sigi Graue, Hannelore Hoger

Mare’s Tail
United Kingdom 1969
by David Larcher

Mes voisins (My Neighbours)
France 1971
by Med Hondo
Documentary form

Algeria 1969
by Sarah Maldoror
with Mohamed Zinet, Carlos Pestana, Elisa Pestana
Short film

On vous parle de Paris: Maspero, les mots ont un sens (Calling from Paris: Maspero. Words Have a Meaning)
France 1970
by Chris Marker
Short film / documentary form

The Murder of Fred Hampton
USA 1971
by Howard Alk
Documentary form

Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt (It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives)
Federal Republic of Germany 1971
by Rosa von Praunheim
with Bernd Feuerhelm, Beryt Bohlen, Ernst Kuchling

Federal Republic of Germany 1970
by Michael Verhoeven
with Friedrich von Thun, Hartmut Becker, Wolfgang Fischer

Ossessione (Obsession)
Italy 1942
by Luchino Visconti
with Massimo Girotti, Clara Calamai, Juan de Landa

Italy 1970
by Sergio Citti
with Laurent Terzieff, Franco Citti, Anita Sanders

Phela-ndaba (End of the Dialogue)
South Africa 1970
by Antonia Caccia, Chris Curling, Simon Louvish, Nana Mahomo, Vus Make, Rakhetla Tsehlana
Documentary form

Eine Prämie für Irene (A Bonus for Irene)
Federal Republic of Germany 1971
by Helke Sander
with Gundula Schroeder, Sarah Schumann, Helga Foster

Remparts d’argile (Ramparts of Clay)
France / Algeria 1970
by Jean-Louis Bertuccelli
with Leila Schenna, Jean-Louis Trintignant and the people of Tehouda (Algeria)

Eine Sache, die sich versteht (15x) (Something Self Explanatory (15x))
Federal Republic of Germany 1971
by Harun Farocki, Hartmut Bitomsky
with Rolf Becker, Herbert Chwoika, Norbert Langner

Schastye (Happiness)
USSR 1935
by Alexandr Medvedkin
with Pyotr Zinovyev, Yelena Yegorova, Lidija Nenasheva

Sochaux, 11 Juin 68 (Sochaux, 11th of June 1968)
France 1970
by Bruno Muel, Groupe Medvedkine de Sochaux
Short film / documentary form

Soleil Ô (Oh, Sun!)
France / Mauritania 1970
by Med Hondo
with Robert Liensol, Théo Légitimus, Ambroise M. Bice

Les trois-quarts de la vie (Three Quarters of a Life)
France 1970
by Groupe Medvedkine Sochaux
Short film / documentary form

W.R. – Misterije Organizma (W.R. – The Mysteries of the Organism)
Yugoslavia / Federal Republic of Germany 1971
by Dušan Makavejev
with Milena Dravić, Jagoda Kaloper, Ivica Vidović

The Woman’s Film (Newsreel #55)
USA 1971
by Women's Caucus--San Francisco Newsreel (Louise Alaimo, Judith Smith, Ellen Sorrin)
Documentary form

Les yeux ne veulent pas en tout temps se fermer ou Peut-être qu’un jour Rome se permettra de choisir à son tour (Othon) (Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times or Perhaps One Day Rome Will Permit Herself to Choose in Her Turn (Othon))
Federal Republic of Germany / Italy 1970
by Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet
with Adriano Aprà, Anne Brumagne, Ennio Lauricella

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February 4, 2020