Indonesia at Berlinale Global Cinema, Global Politics

Edwin at Berlinale 2016
© Gerhard Kassner/Berlinale

Compared to other major film festivals, the Berlinale has consistently demonstrated an enormous interest in global politics and global filmmaking.

Compared to other major film festivals, the Berlinale has consistently demonstrated an enormous interest in global politics and global filmmaking. In many statements released during the press conference and festival opening, festival director Dieter Kosslick and Jury President Meryl Streep expressed their political concerns regarding the fate of refugees in Europe. There has never been any moment where the cinematic arts must confront the complexities of contemporary situation that the imperative of the film industry is not only how to make a political film, but how to make films politically. Almost all sections in the Berlinale tackle a variety of global political issues but one of the most intriguing sections in the festival is Forum and Forum Expanded. Forum Expanded, for instance, presents cinematic works that explore cinematic language and geopolitical landscapes of militarization and terror as demonstrated by an extremely fascinating performance by Lebanese artist Ahmad Ghossein in the opening night.

Indonesia and Southeast Asia at the Berlinale 2016

While no Indonesian film entered one of the major sections such as Competition and Panorama, filmmaker Edwin will be representing Indonesia in the Forum Expanded. Edwin will take part in the program entitled “Visionary Archive” by presenting Lab Laba-Laba’s encounter with footages of propaganda films from the Indonesian State Production Film Center (PFN). Three film artists ranging from actor Reza Rahadian to cinematographer Batara Gempar and distributor cum producer Suryo Wiyogo are taking part in the Berlin Talent Campus.  Indonesia has participated in the section every year.

In the Competition, Southeast Asia is represented by Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery), an extremely slow and long film by Lav Diaz and is a coproduction of the Philippines and Singapore. Pimpaka Towira’s film Nimit Luang (Prelude to the General) is screened at the Berlinale Shorts, becoming the only Thai film in the festival. Burmese filmmaker who now lives in Taiwan Midi Z returned to his country to shoot his brother’s adventure in a mining site in Kachin state. Midi’s film Fei cui zhi cheng (City of Jade) is screened at the Forum section. The Burmese and their days also become the subject matter in the film of Chinese documentary master Wang Bing entitled Ta’ang, screened at the same section.