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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. 

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. We've picked out a few highlights from recent years that are now available on the various streaming services, so you can watch them in the comfort of your sofa and get a bit of Berlinale flair at home.

Enjoy reading and watching the films.

Tip 1: Ich bin Dein Mensch

James-Simon-Galerie
© © David Chipperfield Architects, Foto: Ute Zscharnt

Maria Schrader's comedy about the relationship between a scientist and a robot programmed to her needs thrilled the audience at the Summer Berlinale. The Berlianle jury awarded Maren Eggert a Silver Bear for her performance. And afterwards, Ich bin Dein Mensch won no less than four Lolas at the German Film Awards.

Tip 2: The Mauritanian

Freiluftkinos
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

The film The Mauritanian opened the Summer Berlinale, so for many it was the first film on a big screen in a long time and an emotional moment when the Berlinale jingle sounded and it finally started. The thriller about a prisoner in Guantanomo is based on true events and features a prominent cast including Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Tip 3: Systemsprenger  (System crasher)

at the cinema in Berlin
at the cinema © Getty Images, Foto: Hero Images

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 4: Never Rarely Sometimes Always  

Berlinale
© KARSTEN THIELKER

Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin

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 5: Exil

Kinoreihe
© Getty Images, Bild: Maksicfoto

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 6: Undine

Kino International
Kino International © visitBerlin, Foto: Angela Kröll

"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 7: Berlin Alexanderplatz  

Sunset at Alexanderplatz Berlin, subway station
Sunset at Alexanderplatz Berlin, subway station © Getty Images, Foto: fhm

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 8: The Assistant  

Kinoreihe
© Getty Images, Bild: Maksicfoto

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 9: Mignonnes (Cuties)

Illuminated Cinema Berlin
Illuminated Cinema Berlin © Zoo Palast, Foto: Jan Bitter

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

The illuminated House of World Cultures as a venue at the Berlinale
The Berlinale at the House of World Cultures © KARSTEN THIELKER

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 11: Testről és lélekről (Body and Soul)

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.