The Berlinale (Festival of Cinema of Berlin) will open from the 6th to the 15th of February and its Competition Section will feature 20 films, among them four directed by Latin American producers.
La tercera orilla (The third border), of the Argentinean Cecilia Murga; Historia del miedo (History of Fear), of her compatriot Benjamín Naishtat; and Praia do Futuro (Beach of the Future), of the Brazilian Karim Aïnouz, are the three movies that will compete for a Bear in the Official Section of this new Berlinale.
Mexican Diego Luna’s Cesar Chávez will be also featured. This movie focuses on an activist for the rights of farmers, and will round out the ample presence of Latin American cinema in this next Berlinale.
Diego Luna’s Cesar Chavez and Güeros from Alonso Ruiz Palacios
This is a film produced by Americans that will be exhibited in the Special Section of the Berlinale. It´s a biopic that explores the life and mission of figurehead Cesar Chavez, the activist of Hispanic origin born in Arizona, that fought for the rights of undocumented farmers. The film stars Michael Rock and Rosario Dawson.
There will also be a fifth Latin film in the Berlinale: The Mexican Güeros from Alonso Ruiz Palacios, in the Panorama Section.
Celina Murga’s “La tercera orilla”
The Third Border is an Argentinean-German-Dutch production, the fourth movie from Celina Murga. It was filmed in the province of Entre Ríos, between Argentina and Uruguay. The story is centered around a boy of 16 years who struggles between obeying his father and going his own way.
The film counted on the previous support of the World Cinema Fund, created by the Berlinale to endorse young film directors, and it has been sponsored by Martin Scorsese himself.
Murga returns to the Berlin Film Festival, where she released Escuela Normal (Normal School), in the Forum Section, dedicated to young film directors, in 2012. The film is a documentary that explores the world from the High School student’s perspective.
“Historia del miedo” by Benjamin Naishtat
History of Fear is the first movie from the Argentine Naishtat, another director who received aids from the subventions of the Berlinale. This time, the movie’s predicament investigates the feeling of fear of the outside world, from the perspective of a private neighborhood and its inhabitants.
Karim Aïnouz’s Praia do Futuro
On the other hand, the Brazilian Aïnouz presents a history that starts in Fortaleza beach, in Brazil, and concludes in Berlin, interpreted by Wagner Moura, also protagonist of Troops of Elite, winner of the Bear in 2008.
Claudia Llosa’s Aloft
Peruvian Claudia Llosa completes the parade of aspiring candidates to win a Bear with Aloft, a Hispanic-Canadian-French production in English interpreted by Jennifer Connelly and Cillian Murphy. We must remember that this director won the ultimate prize five years ago with La teta asustada (released in English as “The Milk of Sorrow”).
No matter what happens in the Official Category, one of the principal attractions will be the heavily publicized presence of George Clooney and Matt Damon, two habitual festival attendees, presenting The Monuments Men.
Nevertheless, despite this media-filled circus needed to attract international attention towards the Berlinale – it could look too snobbish otherwise – we can see that the presence of the Latin talent is not lacking and is more and more acknowledged and appreciated in international festivals each year. Congrats and best wishes to all of these artists and their work!