Dec 15, 2021
Generation 2022: Words Don't Come Easy

Catherine Clinch in An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) by Colm Bairéad

The ten feature-length films and seven short films that have been selected for the programme thus far stand out for the unconventionality and willpower of their protagonists. Sometimes, it’s about silent characters who distrust the word, sometimes about furious rebels who vigorously fight for their place in the world. They are all wrestling with their lives in their very own way – to find a purpose, a goal and a way to get there.

In An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl), the silent title heroine counteracts the emotionally cold world around her with her subtle, poetic gift of observation. The New York artist Beba alias Rebeca Huntt is going the opposite way. In her audiovisual firework, the self-confident director positions herself in a world infused by racism. Humour, imagination and quick-wittedness are some of the weapons that the filmmakers place into the hands of their heroes to assert themselves: In Millie Lies Low, it’s the New Zealand gallows humour. In Tytöt tytöt tytöt (Girl Picture), it is boldness and the enduring friendship of three outsiders.

Relationships in times of distancing and change have not become easier, especially when you are coming of age at the same time. The freedom to love differently and the difficulty of not getting lost in the chaos of emotions are themes which have obviously inspired many of this year’s filmmakers. In Sublime, Manu helps his band’s rock music to express his emotional roller coaster ride towards his best friend. In Una aprendiz invisible (An Invisible Apprentice), a young roller-skater lacks words in a world in which adults prefer to be silent with their children. In the gentle and clever documentary Kind Hearts, the directing duo Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes gives great insight into the inner life of a young couple which respectfully deals with the changed feelings for one another.

The world stands still, but the earth keeps turning. In Allons enfants (Rookies), students from a Parisian dance academy dance everything away that keeps them down and prevents them from flying. In search of their own expression and their own rhythm, they rebel against the law of gravity and infect everyone with their insuppressible energy.

Return to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Resumption of Short Films in the Programme

“The Generation audience painfully missed the short films and their makers. Therefore, it is a particular pleasure to have the short version on board again in the 45th edition of Generation, after it had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic. The fact that the Generation premieres and film talks will again take place in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt is another reason to look forward to the Berlinale 2022,” section head Maryanne Redpath comments on the positive changes.

Ten feature-length films and seven short films have so far been invited. The complete programme will be published in January.

Generation – Long Films

Allons enfants (Rookies)
by Thierry Demaizière, Alban Teurlai
World premiere / documentary form

HipHop as a language and an outlet for young people: The film follows the youngest class members of a dance academy on their way to becoming professional dancers. Many of the students come from the socially deprived areas of Paris. Accompanied by a pulsating, dancing camera that pulls the audience right into the action, the film negotiates themes such as origins, pains, dreams and hopes.

USA / Mexico
by Rebeca Huntt
European premiere / debut film / documentary form

The moving testimony of a New York artist with Afro- and Latin American roots: With her poetic-autobiographical film, Rebeca Huntt, aka “Beba”, sets out to defy the world with the proud, angry assertion, “This is my story. I am the lense”. A strong voice for exploring one’s origins - and the artistic statement of a great talent.

An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl)
by Colm Bairéad
with Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett
World premiere

Ireland 1981. Nine-year-old Cáit counters the adversities of a life in poverty on the countryside with a quiet retreat into her own world: She is a sensitive observer of the beauty of the small things around her. When she is sent from her overwhelmed, often emotionally cold extended family to an older, childless couple during the holidays, she experiences deep affection, perhaps for the first time ever.

Comedy Queen
by Sanna Lenken
with Sigrid Johnson, Ellen Taure, Oscar Töringe
International premiere

The Swedish director Sanna Lenken (Crystal Bear for Min lilla syster, Generation 2015) once again proves her talent for approaching difficult subjects with a light touch. At the centre of her new work is 13-year-old Sascha, who after her mother’s death and father’s ensuing depression decides to look on the bright side of life and become a stand-up comedian.

Kind Hearts
by Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes
World premiere / documentary form

With the end of school, an exciting time of open horizons begins. The film accompanies a young couple through this phase of life characterised by great upheavals and new freedoms. The conversations in their search for the truth behind their changing feelings for each another are self-critical, gentle and absolute - the film’s soundtrack is volatile and spherically beautiful.

Knor (Oink)
by Mascha Halberstad
with Hiba Ghafry, Matsen Montsma, Kees Prins
World premiere / debut film / animation

A dream comes true for Babs: her own pet! Not a dog, but an amusing piglet. And yet, this gift of her grandfather, a fallen sausage king, comes with ulterior motives. A fast-paced stop-trick animated feature staged with great ingenuity and attention to detail, narrated in a hilarious and emotionally complex manner.

Millie Lies Low
New Zealand
by Michelle Savill
with Ana Scotney, Jillian Nguyen, Rachel House
International premiere / debut film

Everyone bode her a rousing farewell on her way to New York – and yet, she remained in Wellington! With fantasy, charm and typical New Zealand humour, Millie finds it necessary to produce fake pictures of her supposedly wild life overseas and posts them for her friends on the World Wide Web. As a secret shadow to her own life, she learns a lot that she would rather not have known.

My Father’s Truck - At short notice, the film can unfortunately not be shown in this year’s festival.
by Mauricio Osaki
with Trung Anh, Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Kiều Trinh Nguyễn
World premiere / debut film

When Nhi’s grandmother becomes seriously ill, she has to accompany her father, whom she hardly knows, during his work as a truck driver. In his debut feature, Mauricio Osaki condenses motifs from his short film of the same name into a sensitive observation of a difficult father-daughter relationship. Thereby, he dispatches the two of them in a road movie across Vietnam, following them as they seek reconciliation and a common future.

by Mariano Biasin
with Martín Miller, Teo Inama Chiabrando, Azul Mazzeo
World premiere / debut film

With a great deal of tenderness, subtlety and intimate images, Mariano Biasin (Crystal Bear for El inicio de Fabrizio, Generation 2016) focusses in his feature film debut on the turbulent emotions of a 16-year-old musician who falls in love with his best friend, Felipe. The music and the songwriting become the language of the protagonist - and the film.

Tytöt tytöt tytöt (Girl Picture)
by Alli Haapasalo
with Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino
European premiere

With her idiosyncratic humour, Rönkkö gets just about everyone into bed. Emotionally, however, things remain stagnant. Her friend Mimmi, who also likes to go for it, has discovered love, against all expectations. She has fallen for the much too beautiful ice skater Emma. A brilliant film about the wonderful friendship of three exciting characters who set out to redefine relationship and gender.

Generation – Short Films

Una aprendiz invisible (An Invisible Apprentice)
by Emilia Herbst
with Moe Kaplan Arias, Cecilia Rainero, Agustín Mendilaharzu
World premiere

At home, the adults are silent when it comes to the more complicated things of life and Inés, a young roller-skater also has no words when it comes to expressing her feelings. The looming first performance fills her with pride, but also with uncertainty. This film is a small piece of true cinema, lifelike and told with beautiful pictures from the perspective of the girl.

Au revoir Jérôme ! (Goodbye Jerome!)
by Adam Sillard, Gabrielle Selnet, Chloé Farr
with William Lebghil, Alma Jodorowsky
European premiere / animation

A man enters heaven in the hope of embracing his wife again. However, in the strange-surreal-seeming paradise everything is confusingly different than expected. A visually stunning animation unfolds – navigating the psychedelic trip, with subtle melancholy and explosive fantasy.

Blaues Rauschen (Blue Noise)
Germany / Austria
by Simon Maria Kubiena
with Marvin Nando Nenning, Rainer Sellien, Lou von Gündell
World premiere

A closely observant film about bodies and touching, proximity and distance and the power of attraction. The aloof Alex works in a training workshop for craftsman where he avoids the attempts of his girlfriend to get close to him physically. At the same time, he’s not at all certain about how to deal with other forces of attraction confronting him . In the small space, between working bodies, behavioural patterns are deciphered and the underlying injuries exposed.

Gavazn (Deer)
by Hadi Babaeifar
with Ehsan Bakhshizadeh, Khodadad Bakhshizadeh, Arsalan Bakhshizadeh
International premiere

In quiet, poetic images of snow-covered, rural Iran, the film tells of a little boy who has to watch helplessly while his sick brother struggles to remain alive. When his parents take him away to relatives, Ehsan sets off for home again through the snowy night, to defend his brother against the angel of death.

Ich habe keine Angst! (I’m Not Afraid!)
Germany / Norway
by Marita Mayer
with Frede Mayer-Gulliksen, Katharina Welzl, Justus Raphael Velte
World premiere / animation

Whenever Vanja searches for her older sister, who is hiding from her, everything scares her: the giant snake that lurks for her in the dark courtyard and the cellar with its strange noises. This artful animation film tells of the power of the imagination, which turns shadows into monsters, but which can also give one the ability to become a true tiger which is afraid of nothing.

Nada para ver aqui (Nothing to See Here)
Portugal / Belgium / Hungary
by Nicolas Bouchez
World premiere / documentary form

Abandoned neighbourhoods, a ghostly voice on the intercom, an impending eclipse and, above all, the contrails of the passing planes in the sky. In the everyday, (all too) human panorama of everyday life in present day Portugal, the artfully arranged sequences are captured in the magical reduction, and minor disturbances are always included.

Vlekkeloos (Spotless)
by Emma Branderhorst
with Alicia Prinsen, Astrid van Eck, Wendy Ruijfrok
International premiere

Her mother is financially in dire straits and Ruby doesn’t want to bother her with buying tampons. Ruby’s desperate attempts to get through her period without tampons brings her to hell’s kitchen. A courageous, true-to-life film about poverty among us and its very concrete consequences.

Press Office
December 15, 2021