The 69th Berlin Film Festival is taking place from 7 to 17 February. Several feature films and short films from the Middle East will be presented. Here are 5 of them that caught our attention.
1. Liqa’lm Yadhae (Egypt)
In this documentary, director Muhammed Salah looks at the life of Ibrahim, an Egyptian man who dreams of success but feels helpless. Working as waiter in a café, he is interviewed as part of a television series entitled “Fighting and succeeding”. But this interview will never be broadcast… In addition to this interview, the film tries to find out more about Ibrahim. What are his political opinions? How does he treat women? These are all questions that the documentary seeks to answer.
2. An Open Rose (Lebanon)
With this film, Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab pays tribute to the German theorist and revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg. Her letters, written in prison around 1915, are surprisingly highlighted. The words are set against a backdrop of images of the Middle East, modern photographs of Berlin in winter, archives of the First World War, the battle song of a workers movement… A retrospective of the 20th century, both visual and acoustic, directed with brio.
3. Of Fathers and Sons (Syria)
In this documentary film, director Talal Derki returns to his native Syria. He poses as a sympathizer of the jihadist cause and gains the trust of a radical Islamist family. His camera focuses mainly on two children, 13 years old Osama and his brother Ayman aged 12 years. The emphasis is on love and admiration for their father, but also on abandoning youth to follow the paths of jihad.
4 – Some Meaningless Events (Morocco)
After being censored, Mostafa Derkaoui‘s film manifesto will finally be revealed during the Berlinale, 45 years after its shooting. It features young filmmakers, idealists, aspiring to make a film that speaks to as many people as possible. To achieve this objective, they set out in the streets of Casablanca to interview Moroccans. But a murder disrupts their project. With this film, supported by a collective of journalists, actors and poets, Mostafa Derkaoui raises the question of film creation in a context where freedom of expression was repressed.
5 – Kiz Kardesler (Turkey)
Directed by Emin Alper, this Turkish drama tells the story of three sisters living with their father in a small remote village in Anatolia. Sent to the city to work as domestic servants, the young women eventually returned home. While Reyhan, Nurhan and Havva are constantly fighting and seem destined for a hopeless future, they remain more united than ever.