Berlinale 2017: The Critics’ Choice

At the Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival (February 9-19, 2017), the critics jury presented three prizes, to a film in the international competition, in the Panorama and in the Forum sections.

Prize, in the International Competition: “On Body and Soul” (Testrol és lélekrol) by Ildikó Enyedi (Hungary, 2017, 116 min). Motivation: “‘On Body and Soul’ is an idiosyncratic love story full of lyricism and humour, free of all social conventions. It impresses us with the subtlety and eloquence of its style and involves us in its joy of living and loving.”

Prize, Panorama: “Pendular” by Julia Murat (Brazil, Argentina, France, 2017, 105 min). Motivation: “For its outstanding visual quality and its narrative force that results in an accurate portrait of two contemporary artists. The expression of the modern and bold choreography of human relations in the story connects perfectly with the aesthetic and dramatic originality of the film.”

Prize, Forum: “A Feeling Greater Than Love” (Shu’our akbar min el hob) by Mary Jirmanus Saba (Lebanon, 2017, 99 min). Motivation: “This is a film which combines dense observation and sensitivity, multiple perspectives, several different sources of footage, plural personal histories and fates to a collective history of a country and a generation. Full of melancholia, it is yet full of hope, the longing for a better future. Documentary cinema at its best, this is exiciting, thrilling, encouraging. Mary Jirmanus Saba has managed to deliver a very brave and mature debut film, which tells its audience a lot about the unknown history of the middle-east. A search without the one answer, but with many hints and productive questions – a film which lives on for a long while after the screening is over. The feeling which lives with it is indeed greater than love. It is a feeling for others, for a society, for mankind. We call that politics.”

Jury members were: Alin Tasciyan, Turkey, president (“Yeni Yüzyil”), Dubravka Lakic, Serbia (“Politika”), Denise Bucher, Switzerland (“Frame”, “NZZ am Sonntag”), Kerem Akca, Turkey (“”, “FNE”), Alejandra Trelles,  Uruguay (“La Diaria”), Jennifer Borrmann, Germany (“ray.filmmagazin”, “”), Sasja Koetsier, The Netherlands (“De Filmkrant”, “Noticias”), Rasha Hosny, Egypt (“The Film Magazine”, “Al Jazeera Documentary”), Rüdiger Suchsland, Germany (“Deutschlandfunk”). Cordination: Franziska Schuster, Germany.