Joan's Berlinale 2017 Blog - Days 3 & 4

Posted 14 February 2017 about Joan's Berlinale 2017 Blog - Day 1 and Joan's Berlinale 2017 Blog - Day 2.

viceroy's house                                 

The weekend at Berlinale is always busier and it’s harder to catch as many films so over the last couple of days I've had some long queues and been turned away. Saturday also sees the annual meeting of ECFA (European Children's Film Association) and this is one of the festival highlights for me every year, catching up with colleagues and sharing news. 

However, I did manage to see some fantastic films on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's competition screenings were FÉLICITÉ, a Congolese film about a singer struggling to pay medical expenses for her son, and THE FINAL PORTRAIT, about Giacometti's portrait of an art critic, which I really didn't enjoy but might be more interesting for art enthusiasts. 

On Sunday I was really looking forward to Agnieszka Holland’s SPOOR, a feminist, ecological thriller about a woman fighting against the hunting-loving society in rural Poland. I love Holland's films and this is a brilliant watch again, surely capable of finding an audience among European crime TV fans, as well as traditional art-house film audiences. 

VICEROY'S HOUSE, from director Gurinder Chadha was next and this lavish telling of the story of partition blended with a love story is bound to be popular back home. With Gillian Anderson's cut glass accent, Hugh Bonneville's Mountbatten exuding Downton style and a Romeo and Juliet story to boot, anything that this film lacks in depth it makes up for in heart. I left wishing I knew more about the history, but I am sure that many other people will be more clued up than I. A colleague asked me if we teach about colonialism at school and I was forced to explain that no, we teach about acceptable bits of history and not about the responsibilities of our forefathers. spoor

joan parsons

Joan Parsons

Senior Programmer and Showcomotion Festival DirectorRead more posts by Joan Parsons

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