The 2013 Berlin film festival has kicked off with the premier of kung fu flick “The Grandmaster.”
Hong Kong director, Wong Kar-Wai’s period drama is set in China during the Japanese invasion of the 1930s.
The notoriously slow director took four years to make this heavily stylised picture, a story of honour, betrayal and love in a time of turmoil.
Kar-Wai, who is also the president of this year’s jury, said he hoped to get beneath the surface of martial arts in a way that most films in the genre had not.
Among the 19 films eligible for awards is “Promised Land” starring Matt Damon. It explores the controversial technique for extracting shale gas, known as fracking.
Steven Soderbergh’s “Side effects” stars Jude law, Channing Tatum and Catherine-Zeta Jones. It is in part a critique of the pharmaceutical industry.
While “Closed Curtain” is one of the most eagerly awaited pictures at the festival, it is co-directed by Iranian director Jafar Panahi in defiance of a 20-year ban from film making imposed by authorities back home.