Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Madeline's Madeline

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Sometimes Madeline is a cat, sometimes a turtle. But even when she’s Madeline, it’s hard to tell if she’s just playing the role of Madeline. In the eyes of her anxious mother (Miranda July), she is a vulnerable creature whose obvious mental disorder requires care and medical treatment. But on stage, at the theatre workshop run by the extremely demanding, sometimes even reckless Evangeline (Molly Parker), Madeline is strong, impressive – a force of nature.
Director Josephine Decker equally demands everything of her fantastic actress, Helena Howard. Her third feature film sounds out both the healing and potentially destructive powers of performance, what happens when you play around with roles and identities. Like Madeline herself, Madeline's Madeline remains ambiguous. Do we really need to define what’s a mental illness and what is simply the rebelliousness of a teenager? How do we draw the line between love and overprotectiveness? In a legitimate artistic process in which everyone is giving and taking, where lies the threshold to exploitation? Does creativity even exist without destruction?

Josephine Decker

USA 2018


93’ · Colour


Helena Howard (Madeline)
Miranda July (Regina)
Molly Parker (Evangeline)
Okwui Okpokwasili (Nurse, KK)
Sunita Mani (Assistant Max)
Felipe Bonilla (Santos, Cousin Elmer)
Lisa Tharps (Laura)
Curtiss Cooke (George)
Reynaldo Piniella (Jaime)
Myra Lucretia Taylor (Kaila)


Written and directed by
Josephine Decker
Director of Photography
Ashley Connor
Josephine Decker, Harrison Atkins
Caroline Shaw
Sound Design
Martin Hernandez, Alejandro Quevedo
Dennis Rainaldi
Production Design
Charlotte Royer
Krista Parris, Parris Pictures, Elizabeth Rao


Josephine Decker

Born in London in 1981. After earning a degree in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing, she studied Literature, Film Studies and Political Science. She works as a screenwriter, director, editor, actress and producer.

Filmography (selection)

2005 Naked Princeton; 29 min. 2008 Bi the Way; 85 min., co-directed by Brittany Blockman 2011 Me the Terrible; 11 min. 2014 Butter on the Latch; 72 min., Forum 2014 · Thou Wast Mild and Lovely; 76 min., Forum 2014 2017 The Nothing is Coming; 10 min. 2018 Madeline’s Madeline

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

Produced by

Parris Pictures

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