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Berlinale: Golden Bears Galore

On the second-last day of the Berlinale film festival in Berlin, Juliette Binoche and her co-jurors gave Golden and Silver Bears to two French films and other motion pictures. ‘Synonymes’ by the Israeli-French director Nadav Lapid got a golden one.

In this movie, he tells his own story. He left Israel for France, refused to speak Hebrew and started his life over. The film is about an identity crisis and ways of dealing with it.

The Berlinale’s Great Jury Prize was given to François Ozon’s true story film about yet another sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church. The trial against the alleged culprit is on its way right now, meaning this film is up to date indeed. The Berlinale prize gives it even more importance.

‘Systemsprenger’ is a German movie which just got the Alfred Bauer Prize “for films which open new perspectives”. It is Nora Fingscheidt’s first film of this kind. Benni’s real name is Bernadette, but nobody is allowed to use it. She is a ‘system crusher’, meaning she gets kicked out of any new home she moves into. Her mother Bianca is afraid of her daughter.

Angela Schanelec received a directing prize for her project ‘I Was Home, But’. Critics have been arguing about this one. Some German critics say, this film was cinema at its best. Others insist on the opposite, due to several problems they see in this movie.

Binoche’s jury also awarded prizes to the actors playing the two lead roles in the Chinese drama ‘Di jiu ­tian chang’ about loss and denial. The award winners are none other than Yong Mei and Wang Jingchun.

‘God Is a Woman and her Name is Petrunya’, a Macedonian movie with a convincing story, did not receive any prize, to the surprise of many who would have bet on it, and maybe did.

All award winners and all ‘losers’ can be found on the Berlinale’s website. The 70th Berlinale film festival will take place under a new leadership in February of 2020.