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The best things to do this weekend in Berlin

We round up the weekend's loveliest distractions.

The last weekend of November is upon us and it’s officially too cold to drink outside. Did anyone else forget how smoky those Kneipe interiors can get? Thankfully, Berlin has plenty of smoke-free, culture-filled ways to keep warm this weekend.

From checking out Annette at French Film Week to sipping flavourful wines at Raw Wine fair, here are our top picks for things to do this Wochenende.

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The English-language debut of Leos Carax’s unmissable film Annette will be screened at this year’s French Film Festival. Photo: Courtesy of Französische Filmwoche 

Catch a French flick

Französische Filmwoche (French Film Week) kicked off on Wednesday. Celebrating French and Francophone cinema, the festival runs until December 1 at several venues including Cinéma Paris and FaF, and is well worth checking out. The excellent line-up features some major festival titles, including the stunning Gagarine from Jérémy Trouilh and Fanny Liatard, and Leos Carax’s unmissable masterpiece (and English-language debut) Annette, which earned him the coveted Best Director gong at Cannes earlier this year. Check out our film editor’s guide for more on the festival’s hottest tickets.  

(Psssst! Speaking of Leos Carax, Arsenal are doing a retrospective of the filmmaker’s oeuvre in tandem with the Institut Français Berlin. From Mauvais Sang (1986) to Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991) via the divisive Holy Motors (2012), featuring Monsieur Oscar in his stretch limousine, now’s the time to revisit some classics.)

Meet the whistleblowers

An Ex-CIA agent who spoke out on torture, a documentary on exposing Russian interference in the 2016 US Election, and a panel featuring a former MI5 Intelligence Officer are just a few of the events accompanying the launch of Whistleblowing for Change, a book inspired by courageous acts of whistleblowing by Tatiana Bazzichelli. Taking place from Friday to Sunday, this conference is a sure-fire way to inject some justice into your weekend. Tickets to each event cost 8 euros.

Kunstquartier Bethanien, Mariannenpl. 2, Kreuzberg, November 26-28

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Zanele Muholi captures the lives of the Black LGBTQIA+ community in South Africa with striking black and white photos. Photos: © Zanele Muholi, Courtesy of the Artist and Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

Be wowed in black and white

Visual artist Zanele Muholi captures the lives of the Black LGBTQIA+ community in South Africa with a striking black and white photography exhibition opening this weekend at Gropius Bau. Active since the early 2000s, Muholi’s work radiates intensity and confidence, capturing the resilience of a community still largely marginalised in their home nation. This is their first major solo exhibition in Germany, so don’t miss it! The exhibition opens on Saturday and runs until March 13 at Gropius Bau. Tickets cost 15 euros.

Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, Kreuzberg, November 26 – March 13, 2022

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Chat with artisan producers, learn about traditional winemaking techniques, or just hangout and enjoy the buzz at the RAW WINE fair this weekend. Photo: rawwine.com

Warm your spirits at RAW WINE fair

Sample hundreds of natural wines at RAW WINE Berlin in Kreuzberg this Sunday and let these flavourful sparkling drinks transport you back to a time when winemakers did it all by hand. Speak to artisan producers, learn about traditional winemaking techniques, or just hang out and enjoy the buzz. The festival runs from 10:00-20:00 at Markthalle Neun. Tickets cost 45 euros. 2G+ regulations apply.

Read our full preview here.

Markthalle Neun, Pücklerstraße 34, 10997 Berlin, November 28

Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah 

This Sunday marks the start of the Jewish holiday celebrating the cruse of oil that burned for a miraculous eight nights. Treat yourself to some oily deep-fried food this weekend at Gully Burger, a pop-up at the Bräugier Brewery’s newly opened second location. This Indian-inspired burger shack offers Kerala fried chicken burgers and the unique vegan fried potato burger we’re dying to sink our teeth into! Grab a beer from the brewery while you’re at it!

Bräugier Brewery, Sonnestagstraße 1, Friedrichshain. Friday from 18:00-22:00, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-22:00

Afterwards, head to Marie-Antoinette for Collage Collective Berlin’s annual first night of Hanukkah party. David Bowie, Nick Cave, King Khan… who hasn’t written a song about Berlin? This year’s celebration will feature music about Berlin performed by local artists. Add some vegan latkes and the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing all profits go to addiction support organisation Drogennotdienst e.V., and this is an event not to be missed! 

And Then Hanukkah Played Itself IRL – Berlin Plays Itself: Tickets cost 8-12 euros (or more if you can spare it! Again, all profits will be donated). 2G+ regulations apply.

Marie-Antoinette, Holzmarktstraße 15-18, Mitte. November 28, 19:30-23:45.

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