Four award-winning German films that premiered at the Berlinale 2022, as well as a film about Iran that premiered at the Berlinale 2019 will be presented in Nicosia as part of the Berlinale Selection 2023 organised by the Goethe-Institut Cyprus. The films will be shown at Pantheon between January 27 and 29.
The Berlinale Selection series starts with Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush – the latest film by director Andreas Dresen, to whom the last Sommerkino film series of the Goethe-Institut Cyprus was dedicated. This film adaptation of a true story is a deeply human drama about the lack of the rule of law. It tells how Rabiye, the mother of a long-time Guantánamo prisoner, tries to free her son from the US prison camp. For her energetic and humorous portrayal of Rabiye, the actress Meltem Kaptan received a Silver Bear for Best Acting Performance in a Leading Role. Screenwriter Laila Stieler also received a Silver Bear.
The Forger, screened on day two, is also based on a true story, the inspirational power of which the director and screenwriter Maggie Perren highlights and honours. It is the story of a young Jewish man, who uses his talent for forging documents as a way to help himself and others escape deportation. The film wants to rethink memory and also portray it. It shows the everyday life of the Holocaust on the streets of Berlin, where nobody wants to have known anything about it. This film is being screened to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.
Next up is Come With Me to the Cinema – The Gregors, the life story of the married couple Erika and Ulrich Gregor. Alice Agneskirchner’s documentary follows various paths to get right up close to the founders of Arsenal and the International Forum of New Cinema: on the one hand via the eventful life of the couple, who have been married for over 60 years; on the other via those who have accompanied them along the way, including such prominent figures as Jutta Brückner, Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch. This is not only a film about love and cinema but also a piece of West German history.
The last day of screenings will begin with A E I O U – A Quick Alphabet of Love, a German-French coproduction. At the centre of this film by director Nicolette Krebitz is the actress Anna, whose acting heyday is now behind her. Reluctantly, she accepts a job as a language coach for 17-year-old Adrian who has a speech impediment and is something of a misfit. The film humorously tells the story of an impossible love affair, handling the fragile balance between the dictates of society and the heart with great care. The fresh breath of freedom blows through a narrative that makes room for a nod to old West Berlin and some gentle teasing of Germany’s French neighbours.
In Born in Evin, Maryam Zaree deals with decades of family silence and explores her own questions about the circumstances of her birth in one of the most notorious political prisons in the world. How did the trauma caused by persecution and violence infiltrate the bodies and souls of the survivors and their children? How do the victims personally deal with the fact that the same perpetrators go unpunished and are still in power today? What does it mean politically to face the silence within the family? An exciting quest that highlights how the private is political and the political is private.
This series of screenings is organised in collaboration with Pantheon and is supported by the Friends of Cinema Society. All films will be screened in their original language accompanied by English subtitles except for Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush that will also include subtitles in Greek.
Berlinale Selection 2023
German film screenings. By Goethe-Institut Cyprus. January 27-29. Pantheon Theatre, Nicosia. 8pm on day 1, 6pm and 8pm on days 2 and 3. Free. In German with English subtitles. Tel: 22-674606