Dec 20, 2023
First Films at Generation – Aggregate States of Turmoil

Melia Kara in Elbow by Aslı Özarslan

13 films provide us with a first glimpse of the Generation competition programmes. Six feature-length and seven short films have already been confirmed, involving a total of 19 production countries. Mascha Halberstad, Philippe Lesage, Ingrid Pokropek, Aslı Özarslan, Luck Razanajaona and Soleen Yusef will all be presenting new works.

“Between gentle insistence and furious rebellion, we encounter protagonists who follow very different paths but share an unwillingness to make peace with things the way they are. In a world that is falling apart, these films reveal fresh perspectives on what is and what could be,” section head Sebastian Markt says of the programme’s outline to date.

Disco Afrika : une histoire malgache (Disco Afrika: A Malagasy Story) accompanies a young miner on a journey back to his hometown, where he will need to confront more than just his family’s past. Luck Razanajaona’s debut - a World Cinema Fund funded project exploring images of the present day in conjunction with the history of colonialism, resistance and independence - is the first feature film from Madagascar to be shown in the Berlinale programme. Two contributions present young transnational cinema from Germany: In Aslı Özarslan’s excellent film adaptation of Fatma Aydemir’s successful novel Ellbogen (Elbow), young Hazal’s hunger for life repeatedly leads to closed doors until her pent-up frustration erupts in a consequential act of rage.
In Soleen Yusef’s Sieger Sein (Winners), Mona, having escaped Syria with her Kurdish family, finds herself at a school in Berlin's Wedding district; here, a teacher recognises her footballing talents. In order to win, a group of fierce girls need to learn what it means to fight as a team.

Comme le feu (Who by Fire) is about three teenagers spending a summer in the remote country house of an established director in Quebec. Philippe Lesage’s latest film unfolds an intense drama of epic scope, switching between the chalet’s confines and the vast surrounding wilderness.
Ingrid Pokropek sends the young protagonist of her debut film Los tonos mayores (The Major Tones) on an emotional quest, beginning with a mysterious message that the girl appears to receive through an implant in her arm; ultimately, she learns that the meaning of things is something we need to keep on (re)discovering.
After opening the Kplus competition in 2022 with Oink!, Mascha Halberstad returns to the Generation programme this year with her new animated film Fox and Hare Save the Forest, which features her characteristic anarchic humour.

Threads of related, complementary themes and forms can also be detected in the submissions to the short film competitions, the other essential part of the Generation programme. At a provincial traditional eve-of-wedding party, a young girl begins to grasp the nature of the society in which she is growing up - and more than the Porcelain gets broken in the process. Two sisters facing their father’s violence find a way to escape the spiral – by turning to each other (Cura sana). Sukoun (Amplified) represents an impressively coherent audiovisual picture of a young hearing-impaired female karate fighter’s perception of the world, which has become more fragile after experiencing an assault. A Jewish youth in the declining Soviet Union encounters hostility as he rebels, both from and beyond those in political power: Obraza (Resentment). In Brazil, two young people find tenderness and solidarity in the face of state neglect and repression (Lapso). In Muna, the eponymous protagonist discovers a surprising bond with a relative she has never had a chance to meet. And kissing? The children think it’s: Beurk! (Yuck!) - although, on the other hand...

In the coming year, those participating in the Berlinale School Project will again get exclusive access to, and educational guidance on Generation films. Focusing on the students’ festival experiences, they will be able to develop creative and above all, individual project work, including practical, innovative ways of engaging with film in their school lessons. This guidance will also be available to all interested parties on the website of our long-standing cooperation partner, VISION KINO - Netzwerk für Film und Medienkompetenz.

The first 13 films of the 2024 Generation

Press Office
December 20, 2023