Berlinale Special

Jan 15, 2024
Genre, Acclaimed Masters and Great Performances

Don Lee in Beom-Joe-do-si 4 (The Roundup: Punishment) by Heo Myeong-haeng

Genre films at their best and acclaimed masters. Great performances and politically relevant documentaries. Berlinale Special offers a rich line up.

After announcing an initial batch of Gala and Berlinale Special presentations, the section confirms another twelve titles. These very thematically different films can be grouped into three categories.

Both Beom-Joe-do-si 4 (The Roundup: Punishment, director: Heo Myeong-haeng) and Love Lies Bleeding revolve around the concept of physical strength. The first is the latest chapter of the successful Korean action series where Don Lee and his mighty fists play detective Ma Seok-do. The second is the new work by Rose Glass, who directs the former president of the International Jury, Kristen Stewart, in an electric love story where muscle and femininity go hand in hand. Performing and watching are two faces of the same coin: this is what Supersex and Hako Otoko (The Box Man) remind us. The former is a highly anticipated Netflix series on the life of porn star Rocco Siffredi (Alessandro Borghi), the latter is a surreal story based on the iconic book by Kobo Abe in which a cardboard box becomes the perfect shell for men who want to withdraw from society, and gaze without being seen. The film signals the great comeback of Gakuryu (Sogo) Ishii, a filmmaker long admired for his unconventional style and stories.

Irène Jacob in Shikun by Amos Gitai

Along with these entertaining films, Berlinale Special makes room for more sober works from acclaimed filmmakers. Nicolas Philibert is back with Averroès & Rosa Parks, a companion piece to last year’s Golden Bear-winning Sur l’Adamant. Drawing inspiration from the great Ionesco and with an astonishing performance by Irène Jacob, Amos Gitai takes us into a building that is a metaphor for our chaotic society and the attempt to create the platform for a dialogue in the Middle East (Shikun). Abel Ferrara travels to Kyiv in Turn in the Wound to explore what remains after two years of war in Ukraine, while abroad Patti Smith sings songs of peace. In Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger, Martin Scorsese narrates an extensive tribute to Powell and Pressburger.

The programme is complemented by Das leere Grab (The Empty Grave), a documentary that follows the quest of the Tanzanian descendants of those killed by German colonialists in 19th century East Africa to retrieve the remains of their ancestors from Germany, and exergue – on documenta 14 at 840 minutes – the second-longest film ever made – that chronicles the epic journey of Adam Szymczyk in composing documenta 14, which took place in both Athens and Kassel in 2017.

Filmstunde_23, the latest film by this year’s Berlinale Kamera awardee Edgar Reitz will also be part of Berlinale Special, as will Elf Mal Morgen (Eleven Tomorrows), part of Berlinale Meets Fußball, a special project contributing to the cultural events of the UEFA EURO 2024.

The Berlinale Special programme will be completed by January 22, 2024.

Overview of the additionally announced titles

Press Office
January 15, 2024