Why do we actually do this? Why do we feverishly await the Berlinale every year, used to queue for hours for tickets, now sit excitedly in front of the computer in the morning hoping to get all the tickets and then spend the whole day in the darkness of the cinema hall?
Of course, we want to see the stars live for once, whom we usually admire on the big screen, and enjoy this unique festival atmosphere, but actually we do it all for the love of film - in the hope of seeing that one very special film. That magical moment drives us when we lose ourselves in a film, are taken away by it and leave the cinema a different person.
The competition film Past Lives fulfilled this hope quite wonderfully; it is an enchanting meditation full of wit and charm about life, love, chance and what could have been. The film is astonishingly maturely told for a first feature - and a first highlight in the competition.
Ebid children Na Young and Hae Sung are close friends, but Na Young's parents move with her to Toronto and so the two lose track of each other. 12 years later, they find each other again through Facebook and start chatting and skyping regularly. Perhaps this could turn into a deeper relationship, but they live in different worlds, and so Na Young ends the friendship. She becomes a writer and gets married, he has a girlfriend, but the thought of the other never quite leaves either of them.
Then one day he actually comes to New York ...