Berlinale Selection 2023

Berlinale Selection 2023 – Key Visual

Berlinale Selection 2023 is the fourth edition of the film series presenting current German cinema in Cyprus. The Goethe-Institut Cyprus has been organizing this film series since 2019. This year four award-winning German films will be shown, that premiered at the Berlinale 2022, as well as a film about Iran that premiered at the Berlinale 2019. The films will be shown on the big screen at Pantheon in Nicosia.

The Berlinale Selection opening film is linked to the last Sommerkino film series of the Goethe-Institut Cyprus, which was dedicated to the film director Andreas Dresen. The series starts with his latest film Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush. For her energetic and humorous portrayal of Rabiye Kurnaz, Meltem Kaptan received a Silver Bear for Best Acting Performance in a Leading Role. Screenwriter Laila Stieler also received a Silver Bear. The film adaptation of the true story is a deeply human drama about the lack of the rule of law. It tells how the mother of long-time Guantánamo prisoner Murat Kurnaz tries to free her son from the US prison camp.

The Forger is based on a true story, on a true story, the inspirational power of which the director and screenwriter Maggie Perren highlights and honours. It is the story of Cioma Schönhaus, who wanted to attend an art college at the beginning of World War 2 and forged passports under the Nazis in order to stay alive. The film wants to rethink memory and also portray it. It shows the everyday life of the Holocaust on the streets of Berlin, where nobody wants to have known anything about it. It does not shy away from making jokes about those people who swore allegiance to the regime until their last breath. That this succeeds in the end is not least due to the performance of the cast. The Forger was shown in the section "Berlinale Special Gala".

The "Berlinale Forum Special" presented in 2022 the film Come With Me to the Cinema – The Gregors, the life story of the married couple Erika and Ulrich Gregor. Alice Agneskirchner’s documentary follows various paths to get right up close to the founders of Arsenal and the International Forum of New Cinema: on the one hand via the eventful life of the couple, who have been married for over 60 years; on the other via those who have accompanied them along the way, including such prominent figures as Jutta Brückner, Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch. The films of which the Gregors are particularly fond and to which they gave their full backing are also central, as the duo becomes reacquainted with Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah, István Szabó’s Apa and Helke Sander’s Die allseitig reduzierte Persönlichkeit – Redupers. This is not only a film about love and cinema but also a piece of West German history.

The German-French coproduction A E I O U – A Quick Alphabet of Love was shown in the Competition section of the Berlinale 2022. At the centre of this film by director Nicolette Krebitz is the actress Anna, whose acting heyday is now behind her.  Reluctantly, Anna accepts a job as a language coach for 17-year-old Adrian who has a speech impediment and is something of a misfit. She recognises him as the boy who recently snatched her handbag in the street... “Irresistible” is the term that springs to mind when describing this light-footed and humorous story of an impossible love affair between a thief and a lady. Director Nicolette Krebitz handles the fragile balance between the dictates of society and the heart with great care. The fresh breath of freedom blows through a narrative that makes room for a nod to old West Berlin, some gentle teasing of Germany’s French neighbours, and even a ghost that is chased away to make way for new possibilities.

The film Born in Evin was shown in the section "Perspective Deutsches Kino" already in 2019. It received the Kompass-Perspektive award of the film festival. It tells the family and life story of director and actress Maryam Zaree, who fled Iran with her mother in 1985 at the age of two. After they managed to flee to Germany, the family never spoke in detail about this terrible time. In her debut film, Maryam Zaree deals with decades of family silence and explores her own questions about the circumstances of her birth. How did the trauma caused by persecution and violence infiltrate the bodies and souls of the survivors and their children? How do the victims personally deal with the fact that the same perpetrators go unpunished and are still in power today? What does it mean politically to face the silence within the family? She meets other survivors, talks to experts and searches for other children who were born in the same prison at the same time as her. An exciting quest that highlights how the private is political and the political is private.



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