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11 tips for streaming Berlinale films

Berlinale@home: Bring the film festival to your home

Berlinale: Roter Teppich vor dem Berlinale Palast in Berlin
Roter Teppich vor dem Berlinale Palast i © KARSTEN THIELKER

February in Berlin is the month of film, as filmmakers, stars and fans from all over the world travel to the Berlinale to immerse themselves in the world of film for ten days.  

But this year everything is different: the film festival is divided into two parts. In March, the virtual Marketplace for the film industry takes place. From 9 to 20 June, the public festival is planned, where you can then watch the films from the Competition and the other sections and celebrate a summer Berlinale.

To shorten the waiting time a bit and to ease the Berlinale blues, we have put together a few articles about the Berlinale and films from and about Berlin, which we will publish in the next few days.

Enjoy reading and watching the films. 

Berlinale films of the last years as stream 

We've picked out a few highlights from the last few years, which are now available to stream so you can watch them in the comfort of your sofa and get a bit of Berlinale flair at home.  

And to make your Berlinale@home perfect, you can find the festival trailer, which runs before all screenings, on the website of the International Film Festival.

Tip 1: Systemsprenger  (System crasher)

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The German competition film Systemsprenger wowed critics and audiences in 2019. Helena Zengel received the Silver Bear for her incredible acting tour de force as the irrepressible girl Benni. Meanwhile, she has already started her Hollywood career alongside Tom Hanks in the western News from the World, which is also available to stream.

Tip 2: Never Rarely Sometimes Always  

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This film has probably the most haunting scene of the last festival! The quiet drama was one of the great discoveries in the 2020 festival. The film about Autumn, still a minor, who travels to New York with her cousin to have an abortion, is a small masterpiece. It tells of loneliness in the midst of adults, of being at the mercy of others and of difficult decisions, but also of female friendship and solidarity.

Tip 3: Exil

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The film still made it to the cinemas last summer. Mišel Matičević shines as a pharmaceutical engineer with roots in Kosovo who feels bullied by his colleagues. Is it xenophobia or a personal attack? Or is he imagining it all? The impressive film does not give any easy answers, but is the psychogram of a man who can always feel outside, never belonging, and who can no longer escape from his prison of thought.

Tip 4: Undine

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"I'll have to kill you if you leave me." In Christian Petzold's acclaimed 2020 competition entry, the water spirit Undine lives as a historian and city guide in Berlin and yet cannot escape her curse. Reality and romance, everyday life and fairy tale become more and more intermingled. At the same time, Undine is also a Berlin film, so it tells about the city's history and today's Berlin. Paula Beer won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her performance.

Tip 5: Berlin Alexanderplatz  

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Another German entry from the last competition that was successfully shown in cinemas in the summer is this new version of Berlin Alexanderplatz. Franz - now Francis - Bieberkopf is a refugee in Berlin who tries to remain a good person but sinks deeper and deeper into the swamp of drug dealing and criminal machinations. The rousing film won no less than five awards at the German Film Awards.

Tip 6: The Assistant  

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The film about the #metoo debate and the Weinstein scandal. The young ambitious Jane is an assistant at a film mogul. There is a climate of fear and oppression, with everyone in the company covering up for the boss's sexual assaults. Director Kitty Green manages to show the poisoned company climate with rather casual dialogue and implied scenes. She thus creates not only an important contribution to the current debate, but also an excellent film with intense scenes that resonate for a long time.

Tip 7: Pinocchio  

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Roberto Benigni already made a Pinocchio film in 2002 in which he breathed life into the wooden puppet. Now he plays the carpenter Geppetto, whose puppet comes to life and has to experience all kinds of adventures until he can be a real boy. The film tells Pinocchio's story in a realistic style and not as a fairy tale for effect, thus creating its own magic. 

Tip 8: Mignonnes (Cuties)

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The French film Mignonnes, which was shown among the children's films, caused a scandal when it was released on Netflix in the USA, because many immediately suspected a pornographic portrayal of children due to the revealing Netflix poster. Yet the film is actually a coming-of-age story of a girl who has to find her own way between her family's strict traditional values and society's hypersexualised images of women. But it's best to make up your own mind.

Tip 9: Sune - Best Man

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The audience had a lot of fun last year with the Swedish children's film Sune - Best Man, which thrilled young and old alike. In the sequel to Sune vs Sune, Sune meets his future self, who wants to save him from making a big mistake, and gets into increasingly hopeless situations. Like its predecessor, Sune - Best Man is fast-paced fun full of whimsical ideas.

Tip 10: Synonymes  

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This year the jury is made up of directors whose films won the Golden Bear in recent years. Therefore, we have picked out two of the winning films from the past years.

In 2019, the jury awarded the Golden Bear to the film Synonymes by Israeli director Nadav Lapid. The film tells the story of young Israeli Yoav, who moves to Paris to start a new life. He tries to reinvent himself, to erase his origins, his language. Thus the film is an exciting examination of the question of identity, but thanks to the many absurd situations in which Yoav finds himself, also a very amusing entertainment.

Tip 11: Testről és lélekről (Body and Soul)

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A very special love film is the last tip. In 2017, the Hungarian film Testről és lélekről by director Ildikó Enyedi won the Golden Bear and later also an Oscar nomination for best international film.  

The quiet melodrama is brittlely romantic, it is shrouded in cold colours and yet a warm heart beats within it. Two outsiders working in a slaughterhouse meet in their dreams as deer and hind and fall in love.  

Even more articles on the Berlinale and Berlin films can be found on the visitBerlin-Blog

Kristin: visitBerlin-Bloggerin unter visitBerlin.de/blog

Kristin

doesn't smile on fotos. But in real life she enjoys with a smile in her face Berlin's rich cultural life - the metropolis both in front of and behind the scenes. Her favourite season is the Berlinale, then she spends 10 days watching movies and writing about them in the blog.

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