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BERLINALE Film Festival 2019: Those that came and those who stayed

This is the point where we look back at the past Berlinale. What were the highlights? What‘s coming to cinemas soon?

In this year, the last one curated by Dieter Kosslick, the reverbation of the competition films seems small. Not a lot has stuck in our memory or gotten us excited, mad, or baffled in a lasting way. One exception is Angela Schanelec‘s ICH WAR ZUHAUSE, ABER (fall release), that refuses to go along with typical narrative strategies and won the best director award because of it. The three hour Chinese film SO LONG, MY SON (release date still unknown) by Yong Mei also has an original structure , did make us shed some tears, and rightly won the two acting awards. Other award-winning competition films that will definitely be in cinemas is Claudio Giovannesi‘s teen mafia story LA PARANTA DIE BAMBINI (release date: 22.8) which won the screenwriting award and the energetic SYSTEMSPRENGER by Nora Fingscheidt (Alfred-Bauer Prize, fall release) in which little girl Benni runs amok and overwhelms everyone: her mother, the youth welfare office, and social workers. Films that will definitely be released are Marie Kreutzer‘s cool and clever psychodrama DER BODEN UNDER DEN FÜSSEN (release date: 16.5), Agnietzka Holland‘s ambitious biopic MR. JONES (release date: 26.5) about Welsh reporter Gareth Jones who uncovered Stalin‘s crimes in the Ukraine, Yuval Adler‘s spy thriller THE OPERATIVE (release date still unknown) with Diane Kruger , and the Berlinale opening film THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS (release date still unknown). Fatih Akin‘s DER GOLDENE HANDSCHUH, for which you need a strong constitution, is already in cinemas. The winning film SYNONYMES by Nadav Lapid about an Israeli who tries to let go of his past in Paris doesn‘t have a distributor yet. Some of our own Berlinale favorites like Dénis Côtés melancholy ghost story GHOST TOWN ANTHOLOGY, François Ozons‘s topical drama about abuse in the Catholic church GRÂCE À DIEU, the taciturn Mongolian drama ÖNDÖG, and Elfriede Jelinek‘s Forum opening film DIE KINDER DER TOTEN don‘t have a German distributor at present.