Generation

Take It to the Limit

Maria Galant in Irmã (Sisters in the End of the World) by Luciana Mazeto and Vinícius Lopes

With 59 competition entries, including 29 world premieres and eleven debut films from 34 countries and a share of female directors reaching 58%, the programme of the 43rd Generation is now complete.

“A keen and open eye, the questioning of conventions and the often dramatic transgressions of borders make the films in the Generation programme particularly powerful: in their stories and topics, but also in their film language,” says head of Generation Maryanne Redpath.

Kplus: With a Keen Eye Through Life

Strolling with the three-year-old Zhana through her Bulgarian hometown in the documentary Ochite mi sini, rokljata sharena (Blue Eyes and Colorful My Dress) is like a miracle, although it involves nothing more than everyday occurrences. This is also the case in the vivid film Sthalpuran (Chronicle of Space), in which a boy who misses his father reveals mysterious places and hidden spaces in India: wonderful landscapes, time-consuming rituals, impressive natural events.

The young heroes and heroines are brimming with vitality and ingenuity, even if the circumstances are adverse. In the Swedish family adventure Sune - Best Man, in the Danish animated film Mugge & vejfesten (Monty and the Street Party) and in the Australian opening film H Is for Happiness, in which a twelve-year-old girl makes it clear once and for all: happiness is what is inside each of us!

With delicately sensitive image and sound design, in a manner which is pure and authentic, injuries and wounds are described in families in which the children are often stronger and more responsible than their parents, as in the debut of the Argentine director Sol Berruezo Pichon-Riviére Mamá, mamá, mamá (Mum, Mum, Mum) or in Alexandre Rockwell’s indie drama Sweet Thing.

14plus: In a State of Emergency

The opening film of the Generation 14plus competition, Leonie Krippendorff’s Kokon (Cocoon), celebrates the special nature of the first times. Confidently displaying your own identity, shaking off social labels and re-evaluating media prescriptions are challenges, which the young protagonists courageously face. In the debut film of the same name by the Brazilian Gil Baroni, Alice Júnior shares her joy of life with classmates and the online community in spite of all indignities.

Exactly how strong female characters become new role models, both in family and society, can be witnessed in many Generation films. The young skaters in Meu nome é Bagdá (My Name is Baghdad) demonstrate the energy and power of their emancipation within and beyond their macho-influenced scene.

In the search for justice, it is primarily young women who display courage, tenacity and resistance, such as in the French-Iranian production Yalda, la nuit du pardon (Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness) or the Italian feature film Palazzo di Giustizia (Ordinary Justice).

In The Earth Is Blue as an Orange, hard reality, cinematic staging and several generations of a Ukrainian family all come together in a confined space and jointly come to terms with the exceptional situations experienced during the current war.

The Generation films celebrate the diversity and the differences of human experience and give viewers of all ages space to reflect on their own living environment with new eyes.

Generation Kplus

Broken Bird
USA
by Rachel Gordon
World premiere / Short film

Birdie, growing up as the daughter of a Black American and a white woman, is Jewish, has unruly hair and must deal with the different identity offers that surround her. Highlighting the challenges of lived intersectionality, empowering and original.

Elders
Australia
by Tony Briggs
Documentary form / Short film

Nature teaches us vital lessons. In Wojobaluk Country, two elders introduce their grandson to the characteristics of the country of their ancestors. With keen senses, great attention to detail and the necessary respect for the environment, the boy becomes acquainted with the terrain.

El nombre del hijo (The Name of the Son)
Argentina
by Martina Matzkin
International premiere / Short film

Long hair would look good on him, but so would a moustache. This summer by the sea, the trans boy Lucho knows that there is a lot in him that is difficult to share with others. A sensitive approach to the diversity of gender in body and soul.

El sghayra (Miss)
Algeria / France
by Amira Géhanne Khalfallah
International premiere / Short film

There is a wrecked car in the Algerian desert. The girl gets in and drives. Apart from sand, there is nothing to see for miles. Searching for a change of scenery, she visits the elderly in her village and the nearby oasis. However, whether shepherd, merchant or blacksmith, nobody can see what she sees.

El silencio del río (The Silence of the River)
Peru
by Francesca Canepa
World premiere / Short film

The waters are deep, and the thicket of the jungle is shadowy in the dreamy and mysterious landscape of the Amazon. The fisher boy Juan decides to share with his father the terrifying dream that haunts him. Maybe then he can save his father’s soul.

En route
Netherlands
by Marit Weerheijm
International premiere / Short film

For Inay and her brother, the world is inexhaustibly rich in small, wonderful things, but poverty is the current fate of their family. For them, life is a balancing act along the fine line between steadfastness and tragedy. The film tells of the precariat beyond conventional presumptions.

Hello Ahma
USA
by Siyou Tan
Short film

Now, Grandma is just a framed photo on the wall. Eight-year-old Michelle observes how her parents cope with her death, how they pause, remember, carry on with life. The girl has her own thoughts about this. Is it possible that grandmother was born again?

The Kites
Iran
by Seyed Payam Hosseini
World premiere / Short film

On the slope of a river valley along the Iraqi-Iranian border of Kurdistan, a girl’s kite flies away. She calls three boys for help. However, the children are not only separated by the river valley, but also by the explosive legacies of past wars.

Der kleine Vogel und die Bienen (The Little Bird and the Bees)
Switzerland
by Lena von Döhren
World premiere / Animation / Short film

After the little bird has fluttered across the Generation canvas in fall and winter episodes, a new adventure follows. It is springtime, and the little bird makes the acquaintance of the bees, but the voracious fox is already in pursuit.

Las niñas (Schoolgirls)
Spain
by Pilar Palomero
World premiere / Debut film

Prodded by the rebellious Brisa, puberty is awakening in twelve-year-old Celia. Quickly, the two become allies against the rigid rules of authority in the Catholic girls’ school. However, questions about the right bra, cool bands and sexy clothing cannot hide the urgent search for their own identity.

Lístek (Leaf)
Czech Republic
by Aliona Baranova
World premiere / Animation / Short film

A beautiful red leaf of a tree is the ticket of the girl who wants to board the big steamer. The scent of this leaf reminds the sailor of his homeland and finally leads him back there.

Mamá, mamá, mamá (Mum, Mum, Mum)
Argentina
by Sol Berruezo Pichon-Riviére
World premiere / Debut film

A veil of sadness lies over the oppressively hot summer days. Cleo dives into daydreams with her cousins, the girls share secret signs and rituals. Flowing gently, in impressionistic images, the empty space that the death of Cleo’s sister has left in the family is poetically encircled.

Mishou
Germany / Bulgaria
by Milen Vitanov
World premiere / Animation / Short film

Far and wide only snow, ice and a pleasant silence. Until a helicopter drops a load of noisy tourists. A humorous animation about animalistic interaction and the human ignorance of nature. Milen Vitanov, co-founder of the Berlin Talking Animals collective, has a film in Generation for the second time.

Money Honey
New Zealand
by Isaac Knights-Washbourn
World premiere / Short film

Hank is in a bad mood. Red wants to cheer up her buddy. Perhaps, with a bit of luck and business acumen, they might acquire enough money for an Elvis sandwich with peanut butter, banana and bacon?

Mugge & vejfesten (Monty and the Street Party)
Denmark
by Anders Morgenthaler and Mikael Wulff
International premiere / Animation

Monty, a cheerful optimist, wants to organise a big neighbourhood party to reconcile his parents shortly before their divorce. Nuns with beards on stilts and enthusiastic parkour nudists, those are part of everyday life in his little town. A breath-taking firework of bizarre and pointed punch lines on the occasion of a hopeless situation.

Ochite mi sini, rokljata sharena (Blue Eyes and Colorful My Dress)
Germany
by Polina Gumiela
World premiere / Documentary form

Full of self-confidence, three-year-old Zhana explores her neighbourhood in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. A fresh look at the world, at places and people who fascinate, who make one laugh, who challenge or are challenged by the little explorer. A documentary as an endless chain of little miracles.

Onderhuids (Under the Skin)
Netherlands
by Emma Branderhorst
International premiere / Short film

The blue depths of the swimming pool is her home. Keesje is a passionate synchronised swimmer, and the big competition is just around the corner. However, when a fight erupts between the girls during the final rehearsal, everything changes. The subtle nuances between belonging and feeling marginalised begin to surface.

(Frogs)
Brazil
by Ana Flavia Cavalcanti, Julia Zakia
International premiere / Short film

It’s dripping through the ceiling, the space for sleeping is scarce. Under poor living conditions, a young mother handles everyday life with her two daughters in the Brazilian suburb as best she can. When they unexpectedly acquire a load of frog legs, this gives rise to a celebration that will not soon be forgotten.

Sthalpuran (Chronicle of Space)
India
by Akshay Indikar
World premiere

The move from the city to the country, the disappearance of the father. Nobody explained to Dhigu why this is so. Throughout the summer, the observant boy takes note of his surroundings. Together with Dhigu, the film explores his new place of life in the Indian province, with images of vastness and abundance that become deeply etched into the memory.

Sune – Best Man
Sweden
by Jon Holmberg
International premiere

Sune meets himself as a figure from the future, someone who wants to give him the lead on an important decision. But it is in Sune’s family that no one can really make a decision. Aimlessness and inventiveness characterise grandpa, the parents and the children. After Sune vs. Sune, a turbulent family trip with heart, humour and action.

toni_with_an_i
United Kingdom
by Marco Alessi
International premiere / Short film

Music lover Toni lives out in the virtual world what she can’t show at school. Online likes torpedo malice in real life, and vice versa. In Marco Alessi’s (Special mention Generation 14plus 2019 with Four Quartets) toni_with_an_i, a gaudy and colourful portrait of a teenager, the Internet is the answer.

Qiu shi (Harvest)
People’s Republic of China
by Sun Lijun
World premiere / Animation / Short film

An animation illustrated by the renowned Chinese water-colour artist Sun Lijun, in which a small grasshopper hunts for the season’s most sought-after fruits. His dramatic escape from a large predator leads him unexpectedly to the object of desire: the pomegranate.

Generation 14plus

Alice Júnior
Brazil
by Gil Baroni
International premiere

Alice Júnior is trans, confident and ready to confront life. In the new school in the Brazilian province, she is first bullied and then admired. In her struggle for acceptance, her YouTube community is omnipresent, in the comments and emojis on her page, but also all throughout the visual level of the film.

Babylebbe (Babydyke)
Denmark
by Tone Ottilie
World premiere / Short film

Tagged as Babydyke by her older sister and her clique, a teenager delves into the party life of the queer scene. Frede doesn’t like labels, she wants to love and be loved. A film as rough and as tender as the world which it depicts.

Comrades
Hong Kong, China
by Kanas Liu
International premiere / Documentary form / Short film

Young people are protesting on the streets of Hong Kong in order to bring about change. Air soaked with tear gas, the dark uniforms and loud commands of the police officers in the colourful umbrella sea of the protesters. In the midst of the action, the film documents a brand new protest movement.

The Earth Is Blue as an Orange
Ukraine / Lithuania
by Iryna Tsilyk
Documentary form / Debut film

The budding filmmaker Myroslava and her family are at home in the middle of the Ukrainian war zone. In the formerly lively environment, emptiness has spread, once familiar things now seem threatening. By re-enacting scenes and telling each other what has happened, the family members process the persistent state of emergency together.

Grevillea
Australia
by Jordan Giusti
World premiere / Short film

Black ink on white skin. An incarcerated youth of Jewish faith decides to get a tattoo with the leaf of the Australian silver oak, against the conventions of his religion. A visual-sensual snapshot of a possibly irreversible decision.

Hot Mother
New Zealand
by Lucy Knox
World premiere / Short film

A horror trip based on a true incident: The feel-good atmosphere of the wellness resort cannot calm the tense mood between mother and daughter. They relentlessly criticise each other. Ultimately, in the hot sauna, there is no escape for either of them.

Irmã (Sisters in the End of the World)
Brazil
by Luciana Mazeto, Vinícius Lopes
World premiere / Debut film

The mother is dying, the father has never cared. The two sisters Ana and Ju, however, remain strong and in solidarity with each other - even if the world around them collapses and asteroids fall from the sky. An experimental road movie in pulsating images, containing ingenious dialogues and songs that reverberate.

Jumbo
France / Belgium / Luxembourg
by Zoé Wittock
Debut film

The shy Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) still lives with her mother. At night, she works in an amusement park. Suddenly, the new attraction Jumbo - a huge idiosyncratic carousel - appears and begins to put the young woman under its spell. A wild and unusual love story unfolds.

Kaze no Denwa (Voices in the Wind)
Japan
by Nobuhiro Suwa
International premiere

Years after her family was killed in the 2011 tsunami, the quiet Haru, played by the young Japanese star Serena Motola, travels across Japan in search of traces. A calm road movie that collects miniature portraits as painted by encounters, thus becoming the portrait of a society that is still deeply marked by trauma.

La déesse des mouches à feu (Goddess of the Fireflies)
Canada
by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette
World premiere

Following the separation of her parents, 16-year-old Catherine loses her footing. She plunges into life, lets herself be carried away by drugs and music, and finds a new family in a clique of her peers as well as the opportunity for her first sexual encounter. Pure teen spirit, impressively embodied by the high-energy, Canadian actress Kelly Depeault.

Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise)
Canada
by Catherine Lepage
International premiere / Animation / Short film

The hedgehog between balloons, the feline predator on the hamster wheel, the fish in the lifebuoy: A young woman portrays herself in the best possible light in her self-description. Ingenious and humorous, the film illustrates honest images for the praised ideals of life in the 21st century. The burnout is pre-programmed.

Palazzo di Giustizia (Ordinary Justice)
Italy / Switzerland
by Chiara Bellosi
World premiere / Debut film

While a trial involving murder, manslaughter and armed robbery is being conducted inside the courtroom, the two daughters of the accused are sentenced to wait outside in the hallway. It is the casual, although meaningful moments which are captured that make this portrayal of a very ordinary day at the court truly impressive.

Panteres (Panthers)
Spain
by Èrika Sánchez
World premiere / Short film

They are scarred, overweight, pregnant, shaved, or tattooed. In the locker room, Joana studies the physical conditions of other women and later of herself in the mirror. Can your own body be modulated? Your gender? Your femininity? “Break Free” is written on her shirt - time for emancipation.

Progresso Renaissance
Italy / France
by Marta Anatra
International premiere / Documentary form / Short film

Portovesme in the south of Sardinia, a place with many faces: Once an industrial flagship, today an abandoned place of work. A breath of summer idyll has withstood the test of time. In neo-realistic 16mm images and archive material, and with an accentuated soundtrack, the film follows three boys who appear as if emerging from a memory.

White Winged Horse
Iran
by Mahyar Mandegar
World premiere / Short film

A man returns to his Iranian hometown, which was destroyed in the war 20 years ago. He is searching for his childhood sweetheart who had promised him eternal love – if he were to return as a white-winged horse. Past and present overlap in the poetic memory and imagination of the boy he once was.

Who Can Predict What Will Move You
USA
by Livia Huang
World premiere / Short film

What quickly and dynamically begins while playing basketball together evolves into a gently shy dance of two young men through the night. A poetic, yet wonderfully tender exploration of the various forms of affection and intimacy.

Yalda, la nuit du pardon (Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness)
France / Germany / Switzerland / Luxembourg / Lebanon / Iran
by Massoud Bakhshi

In the artificial entertainment world of the Iranian TV show “Joy of Forgiveness”, the wronged daughter and a public of millions judge the fate of a young woman who is sentenced to death. Maryam is said to have murdered her much older husband, a man with whom she had lived in a temporary marriage. A tense drama about the power of forgiveness and the women who are doomed to remain prisoners.

As of January 22, 2020

Should I Stay or Should I Go – Young People on the Move

Tamar van Waning and Jonas Smulders in Paradise Drifters

As diverse and challenging as the realities of life of young people in different parts of the world, so too are the topics and forms of the Generation films, which have been invited by section head Maryanne Redpath up to now.

The following co-production countries are represented so far: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Nine of the films celebrate their world premiere at Generation.

As part of the Berlinale School Project, which has been organised in cooperation with VISION KINO since 2006, primary and secondary school teachers from Berlin and Brandenburg are integrating selected films from the section into their lessons.

The full programme will be released in January.

Generation 14plus


Black Sheep Boy
France
by James Molle
World premiere / Short film / Animation

In a world which resembles a computer game from bygone times, an unloved boy embarks upon a search for answers to the essential questions: How does one become happy in life? Is there a “real me”, or do we just play some character?


Clebs
Canada / Morocco
by Halima Ouardiri
International premiere / Short film / Documentary form

For the 750 dogs that live in a Moroccan shelter, the daily routine consists of eating, resting, a bit of fighting and eating again. Could they possibly expect more from life? A pointed, cinematic commentary on mass confinement.


The Flame
Australia
by Nick Waterman
World premiere / Short film / Documentary form

Fire, wind and smoke have been the fundamental elements for Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Their knowledge of the original power of fire is passed on from one generation to the next. A creative development of oral storytelling in audio-visual form.


Goodbye Golovin
Canada
by Mathieu Grimard
International premiere / Short film

For Ian, his father's death is an emancipation. He is determined to leave behind the echo of those emotionally charged words, the desolate high-rise estate and his old home and start over again.


Kokon
Germany
by Leonie Krippendorff
World premiere

In the shimmering midsummer days, there are many first times for young Nora from Kreuzberg: menstruating, smoking marijuana, discovering sexual desires. And then there's Romy as well. The two young women, impressively played by Lena Urzendowsky and Jella Haase, gently approach each other.


Meu nome é Bagdá (My Name is Baghdad)
Brazil
by Caru Alves de Souza
World premiere

A film from the skater world of São Paulo, where it is women who call the shots. Bagdá is surrounded by self-confident role models in her family. However, outside on the streets, in the venues and clubs, the old machismo continues to dominate. Bagdá and her fellow comrades-in-arms confront it defiantly.


Något att minnas (Something to Remember)
Sweden
by Niki Lindroth von Bahr
Short film / Animation

An animated puppet film as a melancholy ballad: In deserted conference rooms, bed stores, experimental laboratories, medical offices, petrol stations and scientific centres, animals strike up the swan song to a world that may never be what it once was.


Notre-Dame du Nil (Our Lady of the Nile)
France
by Atiq Rahimi

In the microcosm of an elite Catholic school in Rwanda, the contrasts and hostilities between Hutu and Tutsi that are already deeply rooted in society are mirrored by a group of teenage girls. A literary film adaptation, inspired by the real events that forewarn the genocide of the Rwandan Civil War in 1994.


Paradise Drifters
Netherlands
by Mees Peijnenburg
International premiere / Debut film

On the edge of Europe's affluent society, in the middle of the concrete jungle, the paths of Yousef, Chloe and Lorenzo intersect. Three homeless young people who combine their silent longing for security with their loud cry for independence.


Pompei
Belgium / France / Canada
by Anna Falguères, John Shank

Swaggering with the coolness of James Dean, the members of a youthful gang exist in a world virtually without adults. Following their own rules, they search in the middle of nowhere for the artefacts of a lost civilization, until the appearance of a young woman changes everything. A powerful story of liberation reminiscent of “Lord of the Flies”.


White Riot
United Kingdom
by Rubika Shah
International premiere / Debut film / Documentary form

What kind of democratic resistance can young people offer in times of burgeoning racism? The filmmaker, who herself was faced with racism as a young woman, pursues the forces of the "Rock against Racism" movement in London in the mid-1970s. A movement embodied by the music of The Clash, Steel Pulse and X-Ray Spex.


Generation Kplus


Death of Nintendo
Philippines / USA
by Raya Martin
World premiere

Only something truly earthshaking can keep four 13-year-olds away from their computer games: the eruption of a volcano, the first feelings of falling in love, the dreaded initiation into manhood. Filipino director Raya Martin (Independencia, 2009 WCF and La Última Película, 2014 Forum Expanded) plunges into a dazzling world of the pop culture of the 1990s.


Un diable dans la poche
France
by Antoine Bonnet, Mathilde Loubes
World premiere / Short film / Animation

As children play hide and seek, they witness a crime. Only Auguste, the youngest amongst them, no longer wants to carry the burden of keeping the grave secret. A poetically crafted miniature about guilt, betrayal and loyalty.


A Fool God
France
by Hiwot Admasu Getaneh
Short film

Can God ever be wrong? Are older people always right? And is it fair to forever condemn a person who has once done wrong and subsequently repented? Smart and self-confident, the young Mesi questions the rituals and stories of her Ethiopian family.


H is for Happiness
Australia
by John Sheedy
International premiere / Debut film

With a smile on her freckled face, and accompanied by her seemingly unshakable optimism, Candice Phee faces the big problems of life: from A to Z. A fast-paced coming-of-age comedy based on Barry Jonsberg's hit novel “My Life as an Alphabet”.


Los lobos
Mexico
by Samuel Kishi Leopo

Their land of dreams is "Disneyland". Together with their mother, the brothers Max and Leo have just crossed the border from Mexico into the United States, and it’s not easy for them to gain a foothold in their new home country. The director draws upon his own childhood experiences and tells an emigration story of current explosiveness.


Mignonnes (Cuties)
France
by Maïmouna Doucouré
Debut film

Looking good is the most important thing for the girls at Amy's new school. But only those who have the really cool moves can belong to the "Cuties". Torn between the traditional image of women within her Senegalese community and the new look of her dance crew, Amy is seeking to develop her own self-concept.


Perro
Germany
by Lin Sternal
World premiere / Debut film / Documentary form

Perro and his grandmother fear for their homeland in southern Nicaragua, an area which is threatened by the planned construction of the 300-km-long "El Gran Canal". The documentary accompanies the silent and nature-loving boy amidst the inevitable farewell to his old life in the jungle and his new beginnings in the city.


Sweet Thing
USA
by Alexandre Rockwell
World premiere

A dysfunctional family is portrayed in all shades of black-and-white: For the siblings Billie and Nico, living together with their father means enduring an emotional roller coaster ride instead of enjoying a peaceful coexistence. The adults are constantly getting out of control and overstepping their bounds. In an act of liberation, the children set off on their own adventure.


Veins of the World (Die Adern der Welt)
Germany / Mongolia
by Byambasuren Davaa
World premiere

Amra is growing up in the Mongolian steppe between herds of goats and YouTube videos. His hopes and dreams revolve around someday performing onstage in "Mongolia's Got Talent". However, the fight against the exploitation by gold mining companies and the campaign for a viable environment soon challenge the boy's eclectic talents.


As of December 17, 2019