10 November 2020
Berlinale Selection 2020

A German film screening series by the Goethe-Institut Cyprus

With the "Berlinale Selection 2020", taking place from 14 to 22 November 2020, the Goethe-Institut Cyprus is continuing a film series taking place every autumn and presenting a selection of the best new German language films from the most prestigious German film festival – the "Berlinale". The film series gives the opportunity to audiences in Cyprus to get to know the best works in German contemporary cinema that offer an insight into social issues through the medium of film.

The six films that the Goethe-Institut Cyprus selected this year are presented on three different theme evenings on the weekends as well as throughout the week.

The films Sisters Apart (German: Im Feuer) and House Without Roof (German: Haus ohne Dach) show stories about siblings who grew up in Germany instead of their country of birth, because of their parents flight to Germany. The theme night with No Hard Feelings (German: Futur Drei) and Cocoon (German: Kokon) addresses the self-discovery of homosexual teenagers as well as the refugee issue. Finally, the documentaries Walchensee Forever and Automotive show women in very different working environments.

In addition to the Venice International Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival, the Berlinale is one of the most famous European film festivals. Over the years, the Berlinale has developed into a place for intercultural encounters and a platform for critical cinematic discussion of social issues. Even this year, on its 70th anniversary, the Berlinale has made advances in the area of diversity and equality. The Berlinale is now the first film festival to introduce gender-neutral awards and to bring parity into the newly arranged management level.

The Films

Sisters Apart (Im Feuer)
Drama // 93 minutes // 2020 // Director: Daphne Charizani // German, English and Kurdish, with English subtitles

Rojda is a young German soldier with Kurdish-Iraqi roots who has lived in Germany since childhood. She is now looking for her mother Ferhat in a Greek refugee camp to take her to Germany. When the two finally find each other after so many years apart, they are overjoyed. But Rojda learns that her sister Dilan is still in Iraq. When Rojda finally reaches her sister and Dilan mentions Kurdish fighters, Rojda is filled with fear. She decides to request a redeployment to Erbil in Iraq so she can find her sister. Once there, Rojda quickly wins the trust of the female fighters. But the more intensely she searches for her sister, the more she becomes caught between the two sides.

House without roof (Haus ohne Dach)
Drama // 117 minutes // 2016 // Director: Soleen Yusef // German and Kurdish, with English subtitles
Awards: German Young Talent Award First Steps, German Cinema New Talent Award, Special Grand Prix of the jury at the Montréal World Film Festival.

Three siblings, born in Kurdistan but raised in Stuttgart, return to their country of origin to fulfil the wish of their deceased mother. She wanted to be buried in her home village next to her husband, who was killed during the war against Saddam's regime. However, their relatives in Kurdistan are against this. The estranged brothers and sisters therefore steal the coffin and, pursued by the angry relatives, set off on a difficult journey through a land where the Peshmerga is fighting IS terrorists.

No hard feelings (Futur drei)
Coming-of-Age // 92 minutes // 2020 // Director: Faraz Shariat // German and Farsi with English subtitles
Rating R18 – Viewer discretion advised. Contains scenes of a sexual nature.
Awards: Best Newcomer German Acting Award , First Steps Award 2019, Best Full-Length Feature Film & Best Ensemble and Best Debut Film at International Film Festival Berlin 2020. Teddy Award for Best Feature Film, Teddy Readers' Award and Best Screenplay at Outfest Los Angeles 2020.

High-cut trousers, skin-tight t-shirt, short, peroxide-blond hair. Parvis, the son of Iranian parents, has established himself in the attic of his parents’ house in a quiet new housing estate in Lower Saxony and is busy trying out everything and anything from sex dates to raves. After getting caught shoplifting, he is sent to do community service in a refugee shelter where he falls in love with Amon, who has fled Iran with his sister Banafshe Arezu. The trio enjoys a summer of fierce partying till dawn, coloured by the realisation that, in their different ways, none of them is at home in Germany.

Cocoon (Kokon)
Coming-of-Age // 95 minutes // 2020 // Director: Leonie Krippendorff // German with English subtitles
Rating R16
Screenplay nominated for 2018 Berlinale Talents Script Station

Berlin-Kreuzberg is Nora’s microcosm. Nora, the silent observer, is always tagging along: At parties, at school, at the pool, on rooftops and in apartments. Nora drifts around the monotonous housing blocks with her big sister and her friends, witnessing events that seem to cross-fade in the summer light. Girls who want to be slim and pretty, boys who say dumb things to provoke or because they are in love. Ruthless smartphone cameras and fragile teenagers. But Nora has her own way of looking at the world, and when she meets Romy, she realizes why. There is music in the air, Nora’s body is changing, and caterpillars are spinning their cocoons.

Documentary // 80 minutes // 2020 // Director: Jonas Heldt // German, Turkish, English and Hungarian, with English subtitles
Nominated for Berlinale 2020 Documentary Award.
What is the value of work in the age of the digital revolution? In Ingolstadt, 20-year-old Sedanur spends her nights sorting car parts on the assembly line for the robots. Times are tough for temp workers because Audi is about to cut a tenth of its workforce. But when the diesel crisis kicks in, she is one of the first to be let go. At the same time, 33-year old Eva, a headhunter working for Audi, is looking for experts to automate some of their logistics. So-called “smart” factories that run without people are already emerging all over Europe. Eva knows that one day, even her own job will be replaced by algorithms. But by then she wants to live in the Caribbean with her girlfriend and not have to work at all. Two very different representatives of a generation in which, sooner or later, everyone will be replaceable, and for whom work as the basis of life is neither a certainty nor necessarily a source of identity.

Walchensee forever
Documentary // 110 minutes // 2020 // Director: Janna Ji Wonders // German with English subtitles
Awards: Bavarian Film Award for Best Documentary 2020

Director Janna Ji Wonders tells the story of the women in her family over the last century. The film’s unifying element and silent chronicler is Lake Walchensee in Bavaria, where the family opened a café in 1920 which still exists today. Its impressive founder Apa bequeaths the business to her first-born Norma who continues to run it, even in her advancing years. Norma’s daughters Anna and Frauke leave the lake to liberate themselves and travel the world as musicians – only to return to live in a commune set up by Rainer Langhans. Frauke pines for the love of her life, dies mysteriously and becomes a shadowy figure for those left behind. Restless Anna moves to the USA, where she unexpectedly falls pregnant and gives birth to a girl. Summoned by the shadows of her past, she returns with daughter Janna to Walchensee where Grandma Norma becomes an important figure for her granddaughter.

Berlinale Selection 2020 is taking place within the framework of the Weeks of the German language.

Dates: 14–22 November 2020
Screening Location:
Goethe-Institut Cyprus, 21 Markos Drakos ave., 1102 Nicosia
Language: German dialogues, English subtitles
Price: Free Admission
Information: +357 22 674606