Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival – Day 7 + 8! James Baldwin was an extraordinary U.S.American author known all around the world. In 1979 he started to write the text “Remember This House“ and couldn’t complete it. He wanted to describe the situation for black people in the USA telling the story of his three friends: Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
“I Am Not your Negro“ by Raoul Peck in Panorama Documentaries
Baldwin, born and raised in Harlem, N.Y. by a preacher also worked as a preacher till 1942, hating the white people as suppressors of minorities. But as he broke with christianity and went to Paris to become an author it didn’t work out at first. He returned to the United States as the Civil Rights Movement started and met those three guys. Himself never was as radical as the others, but he truly believed in he movement and spoke out as often as he could.
This movie is a long awaited sensation: Samuel L. Jackson’s voice from the off gets more and more furious as the movies shows images and snippets from the past, big moments of the movement and the violence against people of color. Also it explains why racism is still a topic and why it’s so hard to get over it.
We know what’s happening in the USA and how the cops treat black people. Every police control could mean you’re dead in the next hour. It sounds pathetic, but for young men it’s reality.
The audience and I left the cinema silent and ashamed, a few still cried. The world sucks so let’s unite and stand on the right side of history!
I bought the book by the way, I’m curious about the author now, who died in a beautiful village in France I know very well. What a strange connection.
“Bones of Contention“ by Andrea Weiss in Panorama Documentaries
The Franco-Regime in Spain killed everyone off the norm and especially gay men and trans*people suffered. If they were “lucky“, they came into jail and got tortured and put into “therapy“ with electro shocks, if not they were shot to death and buried somewhere in old wells. Over unmarked 3000 mass graves are still scattered over Spain. The poet Frederico García Lorca was killed in Granada and a group of people are searching for his bones to burry him with his family. Parallel to this storyline younger victims and relatives of victims tell their stories and how they bad were treated.
Even after the death of Franco in1975 the LGBTIQ*-community and other dissenter were still suppressed and couldn’t expect any respect or even reparation, so the community organized itself and fight till today.
This is a very simple and touching documentary: the shocking facts and stories speak for themselves. Lorca was a great poet and so important for the Spanish literature, its unthinkable no official cares about this. If you watch the movie, it’s really important to say, that family of Lorca cares about him, but that they want him to rest in peace were he is because not more special than any other victim. The niece of him said that after the screening, she was really hurt by that misunderstanding.
“The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov“ by Askold Kurov
There is not much to tell about this documentary: Oleg Sentsov is an Ukrainian multi-talent and impressed the film world with his debut “Gaamer“. In 2014 he got accused for being a leader of a right organization and terroristic acts against the Russian government. This wouldn’t be a surprise regarding the violent occupy of the Crimea, but during a raid by the police in his apartment they couldn’t find anything relevant. The witnesses were tortured to confess like Stentsov himself. It’s simply a fucked up mess.
The propaganda of Putin works so well and the movie leaves you desperate: when and how will this dictator be stopped?
A lot of Ukrainians sat in the audience and they laughed really hard about Putins lies and yelled Ukrainian Liberation paroles, the rest of us were just speechless.
So the last days were really hard to take for me, the world is totally fucked up and I don’t know if somewhere something like justice exists.
Let’s see what I will watch the last days of the Berlinale, I guess I won’t chose a feel-good-movie.