february 2020, arsenal cinema

50th Forum

The Berlinale Forum is 50: This offers a good opportunity to look back on it as well as to think about what the future might hold. By re-screening films shown in 1971, we will remember the Forum’s first year. Some of the films (such as W.R. – MISTERIJE ORGANIZMA by Dušan Makavejev) have attained cult status whereas others – like ICH-AUSSEN-OBJEKTE by Klaus Bessau - have almost been forgotten. In this case, there is no print left, only a very fragile original negative at risk of being damaged if run through a projector. The material of film – it becomes clear with retrospect – has a temporality. Loss and damage can only be prevented by continuous archival conservation and preservation work, such as that carried out by the Berlinale Forum and the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.

february 2020, arsenal cinema

15th Forum Expanded
 – Part of the Problem

The Berlinale Forum is 50 and Forum Expanded is 15. The new decade has begun at a time when we are often speechless and yet it seems all the more necessary to find clear words. What does this mean for a program such as Forum Expanded? How does a time like this change the curatorial perspective? What do we expect from the works that we select? A film program is more than the sum of individual works. It creates connections, refers to the outside. Short film programs, where works are shown in succession, and film exhibitions, where works are shown next to each other, can make this all the more palpable. This is not new, but it seems to be more important than ever. Writing about the way victims of far-right violence are often considered individually, Nanna Heidenreich wrote the following Facebook post: “It is not - and this is important - about ‘everyone’ but there is a structure. We have to examine this.” The program’s selected works explore different subjects, including migration, racism, sexism, state violence, capitalism, colonialism, extractivism, the climate emergency, fear of the future, loss of history and much more. However, they all refer to themselves not as separate entities but as part of a larger structural system.

february 2020, berlinale forum

O.K. in the Forum Anniversary Programme

In 1970, the German entry to the Competition split the Berlinale: the black-and-white film O.K., directed by Michael Verhoeven and produced by Rob Houwer. Most of the members of the jury perceived it to be anti-American.

A major controversy flared up and the Berlinale ended without awarding the Bears. O.K. now returns to Berlin in 2020 as the official closing film of the Berlinale Forum’s anniversary programme.

arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

07:00 pm Cinema 2

Mein Paradies

Mein Paradies My Paradise Ekrem Heydo
Germany/Kurdistan-Syria 2016
DCP OV/GeS 104 min

Followed by a discussion with Ekrem Heydo
arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

07:30 pm Cinema 1

Mayyel Ya Ghzayyel

Mayyel Ya Ghzayyel Those Who Remain
Eliane Raheb Lebanon 2016
DCP OV/EnS 95 min

Followed by a discussion with Eliane Raheb
arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

09:15 pm Cinema 2

A Drowning Man


Land of our Fathers


Law of the Lamb

Short film program Unknown Distance
A Drowning Man Mahdi Fleifel
Denmark/UK/Greece 2017 DCP OV/EnS 15 min
Fifteen Sameh Alaa Egypt/Belgium 2017
DCP OV/EnS 11 min
Land of our Fathers Ulaa Salim
Jordan/Denmark 2017 DCP OV/EnS 29 min
Bonboné Rakan Mayasi Palestine/Lebanon 2017
DCP OV/EnS 15 min
Law of the Lamb Lotfi Achour Tunisia/F 2016
DCP OV/EnS 15 min

arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

09:30 pm Cinema 1

Vent du Nord

Vent du Nord Northern Wind Walid Mattar
Belgium/France/Tunisia 2017
DCP OV/EnS 89 min