Berlinale Bloggers 2019
Gender equality and the survival of ancestral lines
The 69th Berlinale, the first major European film festival of the year, was held in mid-February 2019. A number of films by and about women were screened in competition at the festival.
There were 16 films in the main competition at this year’s Berlinale. 17 were initially selected, but Yi miao zhong (One Second) was withdrawn due to “technical issues”. Seven of those films were directed by women, thereby almost achieving gender parity – a first in the history of the Berlinale. Not only that, but French actress Juliette Binoche was president of the jury, made up of three men and three women. What’s more, the festival signed a “5050 x 2020” pledge to ensure gender parity in film industry employment, as well as in the selection of films, by 2020.
This year's Berlinale opened with a picture by Danish director Lone Scherfig, The Kindness Of Strangers. It’s about a woman and her two sons who flee from her abusive husband and set off for New York, dreaming of a better life there. But they’re destitute and end up on the street. The film shows how perfect strangers help one another out and finally manage to find human warmth even in the deepest winter. But it fails to arouse our sympathy and concern, and doesn’t pack enough punch for an opener. Still, its celebration of the “feminine” does serve as a prelude to the main competition.