NewsCultureEcumenical Jury Awards at 72nd Berlinale

Ecumenical Jury Awards at 72nd Berlinale

February 18, 2022 (SIGNIS / INTERFILM). At the 72nd International Film Festival of Berlin, the Ecumenical Jury awarded three films in the International Competition, Panorama and Forum categories.

In the International Competition, the Jury awarded Un año, una noche (One Year, One Night), directed by Isaki Lacuesta (Spain, France, 2021). 

Un año, una noche is broaching the issue of psychological and social effects of the terrorist attack against the discotheque Bataclan/Paris 2015. In an intensive balance between the way of representing human destiny and outstanding artistic intensity in all dimensions of film language and acting, the film represents the long grief process of a young couple, Celine and Ramon, after the attack. The main character’s struggle dealing with Death (“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living “, Markus 12,27) is so intimate and intensive that months are needed to accept the reality. From the beginning, violence is not responded to by hate but by love (Matthew 5,44f). After months of loneliness, relations full of life are again possible.

Klondike, directed by Maryna Er Gorbach (Ukraine, Turkey, 2022), received the Ecumenical Jury award in the Panorama category. 

Klondike is set during 2014 at the Russian-Ukrainian border. The film begins when a bomb hits that destroys the wall of Irka’s and Tolik’s house. The destroyed wall opens the view onto the surrounding landscape. The village becomes e theatre of war, and Irka and Tolik become witnesses of the passenger plane MH17 that was shot down. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict runs through the family since Irka’s brother suspects Tolik of being a Russian separatist. The pregnant Irka refuses to flee while Tolik does everything to protect his wife and the unborn child. Klondike shows impressively how private happiness is pulled out of joint through war and violence. The film’s staging is outstanding: It concentrates entirely on the characters whose room of manoeuvre is more and more minimized by the conflict. The characters act like on a stage. Thereby the film directs our gaze to the existential question of what is more important: to bring yourself to safety or to hold on to your home, and where you find a prospect for new life.

The Ecumenical Jury awarded the Forum prize to Geographies of Solitude by Jacquelyn Mills (Canada, 2022) for documenting the work of Zoe Lucas, who committed her life to collect and archiving Flora and Fauna on Sable Island, a tiny place far off the coast of Nova Scotia. 

With remarkable filming means, immerging into the fibre of biological existence, creating images and sound of tremendous beauty, Mills shows nature on this secluded island as a space of great quiet and of the continuous recreation of life. The discovery that Lucas documents the large amounts of plastic waste in the North Atlantic is a shock to the filmmaker and the audience, thus raising awareness for this dramatic ecological problem.

Members of the Jury

International Competition: Magali van Reeth (France), Hans-Martin Gutmann (Germany), Timea Kókai-Nagy (Hungary).

Panorama: Margrit Frölich (Germany), Roland Kauffmann (France), Martin Ostermann (Germany).

Forum: Adriana Răcășan (Romania), Markus Leniger (Germany), Roland Wicher (Germany).

The 72nd International Film Festival of Berlin was held from February 10 to 16. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the competition was shortened to five days. The awards ceremony took place on February 16, while the remaining four days of the festival were for the non-professional audience. 


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