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The 73rd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from Thu, Feb 16, 2023 - Sun, Feb 26, 2023
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters brings you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives. WATCH OUR VIDEO COVERAGE TRAILERS INTERVIEWS AND AMBIANCE   PHOTOS

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Film Celebrates Berlinale Birthday


As part of the sixtieth birthday celebration, the Berlinale is hosting the world premiere of TRACE OF THE BEARS (Spur Der Baren), a German documentary by Berlin-based Zero Film, that traces the history of one of the world's great film events. While other A-list festivals such as Cannes or Venice are artistic, economic and tourist events, the Berlinale is unique for its political dimensions and its highly developed sense of social and world consciousness.

The Festival’s history reflects the development of the city of Berlin in the past six decades – from being a divided city on the frontline of the Cold War, a bastion of freedom in a sea of Communist suppression and its eventual reintegration and blossoming as the capital city of a unified Germany.

For their film SPUR DER BÄREN, Hans-Christoph Blumenberg and Alfred Holighaus have interviewed 28 German and international personalities from the world of cinema who share their intimate memories of time spent under the hot lights and in the dark screening rooms of the Berlinale.

The film features such stars as Tilda Swinton, Claudia Cardinale and John Hurt; great names in directing from Andrzej Wajda and Agnès Varda, Costa-Gavras and Ang Lee, to Tom Tykwer and Michael Winterbottom. All of them contribute their own personal memories and anecdotes, providing an intimate look at the behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-camera excitement that is the Berlinale.

Legendary producer Artur Brauner talks about the glamour of the ‘riotous’ 1950s, when Berlin hosted many American and European movie personalities of the time. Screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase discusses the complex relationship between the two Germanys as the Cold War came to a close. Film historians Wolfgang Jacobsen and the Berlinale’s curators themselves – Ulrich Gregor, Wieland Speck, Moritz de Hadeln and Dieter Kosslick – all have their say in what is an engaging and enlightening document.

Making use of rare archive footage, the film tells the story behind the story, from the Festival’s beginnings in 1951 when it was still in ruins to today’s mega-event held in the ultra-modern venue of Potsdamer Platz. Clips feature such superstars of the mid-20th century as Errol Flynn, Peter Ustinov and Fernandel, as well as maverick directors Jean-Luc Godard, Roman Polanski, Alexander Kluge, Peter Zadek and Werner Herzog.

The filmmakers have by no means sought to suppress the festival’s greatest scandals: the film makes mention of the year 1970, when the festival had to be abandoned as a result of the acrimonious controversy surrounding Michael Verhoeven’s Vietnam parable, O.K., as well as the withdrawal of the Eastern Bloc countries in 1979 in protest against the screening of Michael Cimino’s THE DEER HUNTER. That rich history brings an added dimension to this year's Festival festivities, which features a number of special retrospective progrrams, including a Hommage to German actress Hanna Schygulla and a host of famous films that made their international reputations at the Berlinale over the years.

Sandy Mandelberger, Berlinale Dailies Editor 


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About Berlin

Chatelin Bruno

Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
Ambiance, film reviews, trailers and podcasts, EFM insider information, and much more.
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