Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2003


Jan 06, 2003:
Gangs of New York to be final film of the Berlinale 2003

Martin Scorsese’s epic film Gangs of New York will screen on February 15, 2003 at the closing gala of the 53rd Berlin International Film Festival. Its presentation will follow the official award ceremony in the Berlinale-Palast at the Potsdamer Platz.

Gangs of New York is master director Martin Scorsese’s most elaborate film project to date. Since premiering in the USA in December 2002, it ranks among the most impressive cinema events of the season. The film’s top-notch cast includes stars like Leonardo di Caprio, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz. It was shot by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus.

“I’m delighted we will be able to conclude the 53rd Berlinale with this fantastic film”, Festival Director Dieter Kosslick declared upon hearing the news. “Featuring fabulous actors and actresses, Scorsese’s Gangs of New York depicts the bloody development toward democratic structures, and the bizarre and apocalyptic class relations in New York society of the mid-19th century.”

Scorsese’s film adaptation of Herbert Asbury’s novel of the same name, first published in 1928, is a visually stunning, action-packed work. In it Scorsese has devoted himself to the story of his hometown New York.

In the 1860s, Irish immigrants and “natives” – New Yorkers born in the USA and of English descent – were constantly fighting one another. Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo di Caprio) had seen his father murdered as a six year old. Years later he returns as a young man to his old neighborhood to avenge his father’s death. His adversary is “Bill the Butcher” (Daniel Day-Lewis), the leader of a “native” gang. In the style of great epic cinema, Scorsese weaves this story of personal vengeance into the social and political upheavals of the Civil War era. For the film, this section of historical New York was resurrected at Cinecittà Studios in Rome.

Gangs of New York will screen hors concours in the Competition Program of the 53rd Berlinale.

January 06, 2003