The Berlin Film Festival closed with a grand gala. Nineteen films were in competition this year, and the Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement went to the French documentary film maker Claude Lanzmann.
Claude Lanzmann came to fame with his film ‘Shoah’ in 1985. It is almost 10 hours long, and took 11 years to make. Central to the film is a series of interviews with Holocaust survivors and visits to Holocaust sites
Chinese director Wong Kar-wai, this year’s president of the jury, outlined the process: “We have discussions every day, so we are not waiting for the last minute and the result we are all happy about it.”
The Golden Bear for Best Film went to Romanian film ‘Child’s Pose’ by Calin Peter Netzer.
Child’s Pose is about a difficult mother/ son relationship – Cornelia, a member of Romania’s upper class will do anything – including paying bribes – to save her son from prison after he kills a child when speeding in his car.
Calin Peter Netzer explained the inspiration: “The idea for this movie came when I was talking with my screenplay writer about our relationships with our mothers. It started there and then we added a lot of fiction.”
The Silver Bear for Best Actress went to Paulina García for her performance in Sebastián Leilo’s film, Gloria.
Gloria’s children have left home, so to avoid being alone she plunges into a whirlwind of singles’ events.
Paulina García, responded to the award by saying: “I feel very honoured and I feel responsible. I am very touched. I think this award is an important step for the movie, for actors in my country and also for independent cinema in Chile.”
The Silver Bear for Best Actor went to amateur Nazif Mujic, playing himself in a gritty real-life drama, ‘An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker’. The movie also won the jury’s Grand Prix.
‘An Episode In The Life of an Iron Picker’ is based on a real story of a Roma woman who was denied life-saving surgery until she could pay for it.
Director Danis Tanovic, who won an Oscar in 2001 for his Balkan war drama ‘No Man’s Land’ even convinced the family of some of the doctors to play themselves in the low budget production.
He said: “I didn’t know much about Roma people, apart from when they wash your windshield or ask for money in the street. So I was kind of grateful when I went and meet these people and spent time with them. They are just people like you and me, they want to live their lives, they want to send their kids to school, they want to make money, possibly travel. We all want the same things and there is something deeply, deeply wrong in the system and we should discuss it.”