Berlinale 2016 Favourite films of the Berlinale Bloggers

“Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau” | regie: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
“Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau” | regie: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau | Photo (detail): Maxence Germain © Ecce Films

International bloggers and film journalists followed the Berlinale on behalf of – in interviews, critiques and background reports. What are their favourite films of the Berlinale 2016?

Sam de Wilde – Belgium

Sam de Wilde Photo: Bibí Euse I loved Jeff Nichols' film Midnight Special the way you love a wayward child, seeing all of its flaws and loving it nonetheless.


Camila Gonzatto – Brasil

Camila Gonzatto Photo: © Private The film Houses without doors nocked me out. It depicts the everyday life of a family during the war in Aleppo, Syria, and how the war little by little invaded and changed the life of the street where they used to live – from a very normal and lively street to a scenery of destruction. Among the Brazilian films, I would highlight Muito Romântico, due to the beauty and the poetry that emerge from the images.


Yun-hua Chen – China

Yun-hua Chen Photo: Private I especially like Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau, an extremely tender film with nuanced sensitivity. The daring performance of two young actors is simply divine, under the backdrop of Paris in midnight hours which itself a main character in the film. Universal themes of love and fear, doubt and trust are portrayed in such an engrossing manner and so full of charm and elegance.


Morten Vejlgaard Just – Denmark

Morten Vejlgaard Just Photo: Linn Grubbström The title fits the Berlinale perfectly: Indignation. And it’s a good film, too, by the way. Perhaps not the best film at the festival, but definitely the best film scene: a ten-minute struggle that ends with vomit on the floor and an appendectomy. That’s one scene I’m never going to forget!


Philipp Bühler – Germany

Philipp Bühler Photo: © Private I really liked Ira Sachs’ Little Men: a very grown-up film about gentrification in Brooklyn, seen through the eyes of two 13-year olds. Jake and Tony really are “little men.” Director Ira Sachs portrays their sensitive friendship in the most tender images since Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.


Venia Vergou – Greece

Venia Vergou Photo: Private For me the best film was definitely the 485 minutes long Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) by Lav Diaz. Because he is a grand master of narration. Because time expands in his epic filmmaking in the most extraordinary ways. Because of his breathtaking compositions with humans positioned beautifully within the Philippine landscape.


Veronika Kusumaryati – Indonesia

Veronika Kusumaryati Photo: Private Ahmad Ghossein's performance piece When the Ventriloquist Came and Spoke to Me and his video installation Al Marhala Al Rabiaa seem to exemplify a dangerous encounter with the visual order of the others. In the light of emerging visual production from entities such as ISIS and the distribution of technologically-mediated military images, Ghossein's works challenge us to re-think our relation to images and to others.


Jutta Brendemühl – Canada

Jutta Brendemühl Photo: © Goethe-Institut For me the best film was 24 Weeks: gentle, empathic, tough, heart-wrenching, heart-mending, political, fearless, engaging, challenging, innovative, outstanding acting.


Mugambi Nhtiga – Kenya

Mugambi Nthiga Photo: Operetar Photography I liked the most Shepherds and Butchers, directed by Oliver Schmitz. This story about the horrific effect of the gallows on a teenage prison warder in Apartheid era South Africa is simple and sure-footed. Yet, it succeeds in jarring us when it needs to, and lifting us up when the we hunger for the feeling of being human again.


Julia Thurnau – Norway

Julia Thurnau Photo: © Private The women in Doris Dörrie’s film Fukushima mon amour (Grüße aus Fukushima) encounter each other in their vulnerability, which they express through rage. Far too seldom have I felt as understood as in Doris Dörries' masterpiece. The unpretentious piano soundtrack by Ulrike Haage accentuates the beautiful in an ambient of destruction.


Pablo López Barbero – Spain

Pablo López Barbero Photo: © Filiz Penzkofer For me, Rafi Pitts' competition entry Soy Nero is an excellent film. Johnny Ortiz plays superbly the role of a Mexican who dreams of a better life in the USA. The film captures Nero’s disillusionment very realistically in images. Sadly, this story symbolises the situation of many people world-wide.