There’s only one film that should be on your radar this week, and it’s Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which deservedly won the much-coveted Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlinale – as well as the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. It addresses the topic of a woman’s right to choose with great empathy while depicting the troubling reality of reproductive rights in America today. This intimate snapshot centering on the perspective of a young woman has become all the more timely with the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Trump’s seemingly unavoidable third Supreme Court confirmation. The film thankfully bumps Tenet off many screens in Berlin, so head to Delphi Lux, Moviemento, International, Odeon, Neues Off, Rollberg and many more to see one of the most impactful films of the year. We interviewed director Eliza Hittman to talk about how her quiet drama avoids becoming a polemic on the issue of abortion and how unspoken gestures often carry more weight than lengthy speeches.
Another new film which gets a limited release in certain territories ahead of its online rollout on Apple TV+ later this month is Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks. It sees the director reuniting with Bill Murray 17 years after Lost In Translation to tell a father-daughter story focusing on a New York woman (Rashida Jones) try to find out if her husband is having an affair, with the aid of her impulsive father (Murray). Elsewhere, there are other great recent releases still playing at the moment, including The Personal History of David Copperfield, a playful and heart-warming Dickens adaptation that dodges the pitfalls of many stuffy literary adaptations, as well as Pelikanblut, Katrin Gebbe’s audacious adoption thriller which straddles several genres with great aplomb. Don’t forget to catch up on our interview with Katrin Gebbe, who talked to us about working with Nina Hoss and her artistic influences for the film’s unique look.
On our festival radar this week is the start of the Soura Film Festival. The festival is a platform for queer cinema from the MENA region and its second edition (01 Oct – 04 Oct) takes place at the Oyoun Cultural Center on Wissmannstraße. This year’s program features Faraz Shariat’s Teddy winner Futur Drei (tonight at 7pm), Jordan Bryon remarkable documentary exploring genders and sexual identity in the Middle East Birds Of The Borderlands (tomorrow at 7pm), Felipe Monroy’s eye-opening documentary Meanwhile In Beirut (03/10 at 10pm), which follows the daily life of a young transsexual in the Lebanese capital who almost never leaves her small apartment, alongside a series of short film programs and a retrospective that focuses on queer narratives in the classic cinema of the Middle East and North African region.
As highlighted in last week’s column, Human Rights Film Festival is still ongoing at various venues like ACUDkino, Hackesche Höfe, Sputnik and Moviemento until 10 Oct. Taking place in the form of an on/offline hybrid this year, HRFFB 2020 presents a series of documentaries that seek to inspire people and raise awareness of human rights violations. Make sure to book tickets for Berlinale alumnus The Earth Is Blue As An Orange (01/10, 6.30pm at Sputnik, with a repeat screening on 07/10, 9.15pm at BUFA) and Maddy The Model, which sees a young Australian becoming the first supermodel with Down’s Syndrome (02/10, 8.15pm at Sputnik and 03/10, 8.15pm at BUFA).
Lastly, we recommend you check out Arsenal’s Bertrand Bonello retrospective, starting this week (Oct 02) until the 25th. The French director will be in attendance on the first two nights of the retrospective, which will be showing his new film Zombi Child (out next week – look out for our upcoming review).
That’s it from us this week. Head to the kinos and to the festivals, wear your masks and stay safe.