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Day 2 at the Berlinale 2023

The festival has begun

International Film Festival Berlin
In front of the Berlinale Palace © KARSTEN THIELKER

Now the Berlinale has really picked up speed - the competition started on Friday. and the other sections have also shown their first films. First highlights like Blackberry are traded, first flops are regretted and the masses wander from cinema to cinema.

In the specials, eyes turned back to Ukraine as Sean Penn's Superpower screened there, which started as a documentary about a funny bird and turned into a portrait of a defensible president at war.

Opening Generation Kplus: Zeevonk.

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There was an exuberant mood at the Urania when Generation Kplus opened there this afternoon. The joy of the new management, the enthusiasm of the children and the happy film crew made it a truly emotional moment when the former head of the section Maryanne Redpath - now as guest of honor - declared the Generation open.

With the Belgian film Zeevonk, the new team immediately proved a lucky hand, as it had everything a film in this section needs: an emotional story with a strong leading actress.

Lena can't believe it: her beloved father is not coming back, his fishing boat has capsized, the crew is dead, and maybe, quite possibly it was even his fault. Enraged, Lena refuses to grieve and searches for an explanation. It must have been a sea monster, after all, she saw its shadow at the funeral on the high seas. Determined, she sets out to find the monster.

The film tells of the love of the sea, of grief and loss, of letting go and moving on. It takes Lena's worries and troubles seriously and makes them tangible. It can rely on the sensitive acting of its leading actress Saar Rogiers as well as the lovingly drawn supporting roles, especially Lena's friend and her new boyfriend Octopusboy.

Online booking instead of Berlinale queue

Waiting for tickets at Berlinale
Berlinale: Ticket counter © KARSTEN THIELKER

There have been some changes this year: The Generation has a new management, new cinemas have been added, others like the Friedrichstadt-Palast as a glamorous setting for the specials have been dropped. And we also have to say goodbye to the legendary queue at the ticket booths and the Berlinale bag. Online booking was introduced last year and the ticket booths were abolished.

There are now no more ticket booths in front of which fans camp out to grab one of the tickets, exchange ideas, discuss highlights and warn about grandiose flops. The queue was more than just a place to buy tickets, it was the place of community, where alliances were forged to tactically buy particularly coveted tickets and friendships were formed.

Unfortunately, there is now no place at all where fans can simply meet to exchange ideas, perhaps the Berlinale management could introduce something there next year after all ...

And also the Berlinale bag is no more, it has given way to a bag, after it had already turned into a fanny pack last year. The bag in the Berlinaledesign is very pretty, but of course much less practical than a closable bag. And so many still wear the bags of last year, in which everything from laptop to water bottle and lunch box has room.

Kristin: visitBerlin-Bloggerin unter


does not smile on fotos. But in real life she enjoys with a smile in her face the rich cultural life of Berlin - 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. All posts