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Berlinale Bloggers 2019
Where’s the charm?

"Die Einzelteile der Liebe" (The components of love): Birte Schnöink, Ole Lagerpusch
"Die Einzelteile der Liebe" (The components of love): Birte Schnöink, Ole Lagerpusch | Photo (Detail): © Markus Koob / dffb

The young talent section, "Perspectives on German Cinema", starts with a weak opening film. But there are also some promising works.

By Philipp Bühler

A layabout suddenly willing to commit, a lesbian couple in relationship stress, the daughter of a feminist mother as an amateur call girl – all the usual suspects really in the opening film of Perspectives, the appetising special portal for amorous entanglements. The young talent section of the Berlinale is rarely about big themes. The first-time directors experiment with what they know: messed up or miraculously successful relationships. They write some snappy dialogue and come across mainly as not only witty and fresh but also deliberately naive. Yet where has the old charm gone? There are a few interesting scenes in Easy Love, Tamer Jandali’s debut, in which seven specimens of the Generation Y revolve around themselves, in search of love, of course. But all in all it not only looks terribly uptight, but is also rather tedious in the formless way it is done.

From hybrid film to "documentary form"

"Documentary form" is what the new phenomenon has been named this year, in all the sections. It is a mixture of documentary and feature film, which doesn’t have much to do with the exciting "hybrid film" of recent years. The game with reality and fiction, improvisation and art suspended, the levels simply no longer distinguishable: all of which of course demands tremendous authenticity in times of social media and constant self-staging, but doesn’t go beyond a dull reality show. Dreissig (i.e. Thirty) by Simona Kostova and Heute und Morgen (i.e. Today and Tomorrow) by Thomas Moritz Helm are two more films run up on a similar pattern. I'm not on tenterhooks.

Life in passage

Really original, on the other hand, is Miriam Bliese’s idea of a separation-tragicomedy, Die Einzelteile der Liebe (i.e. The Components of Love): all the scenes of a relationship, from the first flirtation to the bitter end, are played out in front of a block of flats in Berlin’s Hansaviertel - life as an eternal passage. But perhaps in this strange year a documentary with a heavy theme will become the favourite: in Born in Evin, actress Maryam Zaree sets out on a painful search for the circumstances of her birth in an Iranian prison.