From February 20 to March 1, 2020, 70th Berlin International Film Festival was held in Berlin. Having visited one of the most important events in the world of cinema, Contemporary Lynx presents 5 films, the premiere of which is worth waiting for in cinemas.
“The Roads Not Taken”
Dir. Sally Potter, Competition
The story of the protagonist Leo is divided into several parts. He once had everything, now he has nothing. He does not remember the name of his daughter, jumps out of a taxi, and leaves the house, headed nowhere, barefoot in the middle of the night. The life of people around him looks like hell, while Leo, in his mind, seeks to create paradise.
Sally Potter managed to create a picture, saturated not only with pain and pity, but also with warm and care. Combining such complex emotions, The Roads Not Taken is a very unique entry into the festival’s Competition selection..
Dir. Kitty Green, Panorama
For an hour and 27 minutes, the viewer is immersed in one working day of the Junior Assistant Jane. Holding onto a dream of becoming a producer, the heroine works without ever giving up, going as far as collecting crumbs from the table of “His” – the girl’s boss whose name no one even allows themselves to pronounce. Bullied by her colleagues and witness to the harassment taking place behind “His” doors, Jane grows more and more motivated to fight for justice, an undertaking that can lead to a failure.
The Assistant can be safely proclaimed as the #MeToo cinematic manifesto. The grayness of Jane’s world as portrayed in the film is the best way to reflect the grim reality of bullying and sexual harassment.
“My Little Sister”
Dir. Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond, Competition
Leukemia might be destroying Sven’s body, but nothing can destroy the love of his twin sister Lisa: she is ready to be his organ donor. She picks him up from the capital of Germany for him to visit her family living in Switzerland, and she fights for Sven’s right to play the role of Hamlet for the 158th time. She cannot allow herself to be weak, and even while watching the collapse of her marriage and the slow death of her brother, she must remain strong until the very end.
The stunning film of Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond My Little Sister is a showcase of loneliness known by the strong-willed, and of the reaction of the world to this resilience.
Dir. Ilya Khrzhanovsky and Jekaterina Oertel, Competition
Working in a buffet where you can help yourself to lobsters, pineapples and champagne, Natasha lives her life to the fullest: she steals food, drinks with a colleague the remnants of the elite alcohol and flirts with visitors. Then, overnight, her once careless life turns harder after just one night with a foreigner. Still, even under the most depressing circumstances, Natasha does not give up her nature, the unraveling of which the viewer observes for 2 hours.
Being one of the nominees for the Golden Bear, Dau. Natasha hypnotizes with its long scenes, hand-held shooting, and the graininess of each frame. What can be considered the Achilles heel of the film, however, is the difficulty of translating the wordplay in the dialogues latent in the transitions between Russian and Ukrainian languages, and in the wealth of vulgarisms used.
Dir. Anne Fontaine, Berlinale Special Gala
Virginie, Erik and Aristide protect the rule of law day by day. However, none of them can manage to always live according to moral laws. Fate offers them with a game: to either send a person to death or save him from the unfair circumstances. They only have one night to decide if the man has the right to live.
Anne Fortaine creates an emotional portrait of each of the characters with a graceful accuracy, giving the viewer the choice to judge their morality, while she presents all the facets of humanity that surface during the most difficult dilemma.
Written by Vera Zborovska
Edited by Ada Kałużna