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This week at the kino: An Aussie heartbreaker and a female film fest

Growing pains, a drug baroness, zombies and a courtroom drama – it’s an eclectic week for new releases. Let our film editor be your guide.

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Babyteeth is in Berlin cinemas now. Photo: X Verleih AG

Growing pains, a drug baroness, zombies and a courtroom drama – it’s an eclectic and very decent week for new releases.

Your top priority should be to rush to see Babyteeth (or to give it its matter-of-fact and far more prosaic German title, Milla Meets Moses), Shannon Murphy’s heartachingly powerful debut feature about Milla, a 16-year old cancer patient who falls for Moses, a 23-year old drug dealer who’s nothing but bad news. Despite the tearjerker-by-numbers barebones premise, it’s a strikingly fresh variation on familiar coming-of-age terrain, one that’ll rip your heart out in all the right ways. Make sure you head to Hackesche Höfe Kino, Il Kino, Passage, Moviemento or Delphi Lux to catch it in OV and whatever you do, bring tissues.

If you don’t think you can face the Kleenex (wash your dirty minds, you filth badgers) and the prospect of punishing your tear ducts, there are two French films vying for your attention this week – the first is La Daronne, a gentle comedy burrowed inside a police drama, starring Isabelle Huppert as a police translator who switches sides and becomes Paris’ number 1 drug godmother; the second is Zombi Child, the new film by Bertrand Bonello, who delivers a fascinating yet frustrating meditation on France’s colonial past via the lens of voodoo traditions. And if still none of those titles strike your fancy, you can do a lot worse than to check out Dark Waters, Todd Haynes’ sobering dramatisation of a real-life environmental scandal. It’s a familiar David vs Goliath story that makes up with meticulous research what the film occasionally lacks in thrills.

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Im Feuer screens at the Kurdisches FilmFestival. Photo: Match Factory

Outside of general releases, several festivals are worth investigating this week. Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin started yesterday and for five days, Moviemento Kino hosts their second edition, with short and feature films, as well as talks and networking sessions. For more information, read our full festival preview. Today marks the start of the 10th on-and-offline edition of the Kurdisches FilmFestival at Babylon Mitte with Daphne Charizani’s Im Feuer (Sisters Apart, at 7pm), a stunning feature about a German soldier and native Kurd who volunteers for a mission to train female Kurdish soldiers in Iraq to fight ISIS whilst covertly looking for her missing sister. The festival lasts until the 14th. There’s also the Festival of Animation Berlin (FAB), which opens its doors at Humboldt Saal from October 09-11. The platform is dedicated to the art and craft of animation, showcasing the works of local and international animators, with screenings and workshops. This year’s edition opens tomorrow at 1pm with The Happiness Machine, an innovative anthology feature that anchors itself in the festival’s The Future Is Female! Program – the film showcases twenty female artists who have created ten animated films to reflect various aspects of “the Economy for the Common Good”.

Another recommendation we have this week is Sinema Transtopia’s program of queer films, connecting the Far East with the Middle East. How Can We See (Each Other)? takes place from today until the 23rd and is curated by Chinese artist, filmmaker and queer activist Popo Fan, who has selected a fantastic cross section of films from regions along the Silk Road. All films are shown in OV with English subs, with accompanying discussions. Tonight’s evening of shorts by Tao Hui and Monira Al Qadiri, Body, Identity, Performance (8pm) is followed by a conversation with Monira Al Qadiri, and tomorrow’s Family, Border, Separation selection (8pm), featuring shorts by Liang Ying, Sholeh Zahraei and Kamil Saldun, are well worth a watch.

Lastly, Lichtblick’s latest US elections-related event, done in cooperation with American Voices Abroad Berlin, who provide non-partisan voter registration support for US citizens, takes place on Oct 13 at 8pm. Lichtblick will be screening Alexandra Pelosi’s 2016 documentary Meet The Donors: Does Money Talk?, an eye-opening and at times dryly funny portrait of US lobbying that sees the Emmy-winning filmmaker take viewers behind the scenes of fundraisers and the money machinations behind elections.

That’s it from us this week. Book tickets online, wear your masks, enjoy a wonderful face leak at Babyteeth, and see you next week.