Berlinale Blog #7 Breakfast with the whole world

The Berlinale is a present-day Tower of Babel where the whole world meets up to talk about films.

A Dane, a Greek, an Indonesian and a Chinese fellow walk into a café. And no, this isn’t the first line of a joke, it actually happened yesterday when I invited my international fellow bloggers to breakfast. Not only do films from all over the world meet up at the Berlinale, but so do people from all four corners of the globe. As once when first building the Tower of Babel, we all speak the same language: film.

I have to ask Veronika from Indonesia right away how the Danish-produced film The Act of Killing influenced the debate about the Indonesian genocide in the 1960s. The film radically changed Indonesians’ view of the events and shed light on what had remained in the dark, she says. Yun-hua, on the other hand, has yet to hear any Western criticism of China for downsizing the black actor on the Star Wars poster, while Venia from Greece wants to know whether I have any news of her favourite Dane, Lars von Trier. She once interviewed him and he poured her coffee, she still remembers that detail.

Venia, Yun-hua and I go together to the screening of L’Avenir (“Things to Come”) a Franco-German co-production. The co-productions reach a certain high point that day in a scene in Genius in which a whole cinema full of film critics break out laughing when the fifth co-producing company is credited on the screen. The language of film unites the world. Heard this one yet? A Dane, a Greek, an Indonesian and a Chinese fellow walk into a café…