The Berlin International Film Festival returns with the 68th edition from 15 – 25th February. Long a champion of East Asian cinema, this year’s program arrives with a series of highly anticipated features including the latest from Isao Yukisada, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and Hong Sang-soo.
- Amiko – 16 year old Amiko has left Nagano behind to look for the boyfriend who skipped out on her to go to Tokyo with another girl.
- Blue Wind Blows – A small boy on Sado chases ghosts with the help of a bookish friend.
- Minatomachi – Kazuhiro Soda’s latest documentary focusses on a declining fishing village.
- Our House – Two women inhabit the same space in Yui Kiyohara’s eerie drama.
- Ramen Teh – A Japanese ramen chef travels to Singapore after the death of his father to find out more about his Singaporean mother who died when he was only 10.
- River’s Edge – A young man bullied because of his sexuality finds a dead body and investigates with the help of his best friend and confidant in the latest from Isao Yukisada.
- Yocho (Foreboding) – Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s companion piece to Before We Vanish, Yocho is the story of an alien doctor and his Earthling wife.
- Tokyo Boshoku (Tokyo Twilight) – In this restored classic from Yasujiro Ozu, a young woman copes with an unwanted pregnancy with the help of her sister who has returned home in flight from an alcoholic husband.
- Yama – Attack to Attack – Intended as a document of the workers’ struggle, this 1985 documentary eventually cost both of its directors their lives at the hands of the yakuza whose corruption they hoped to expose.
Tribute to Keiko Sato
“Pink film” – independently made softcore erotica, is generally thought of as being a very male affair but one of its driving forces, Keiko Sato, was actually a woman and the festival will pay tribute to her with three films from her surprisingly diverse career as a producer.
- Abnormal Family – Masayuki Suo’s only pink film takes the form of an Ozu pastiche centring on one very unusual family.
- Gushing Prayer – Masao Adachi takes the pink film in a political direction through the story of a young woman on the quest to beat sex.
- Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands – From the screenwriter of Branded to Kill, Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands follows a hitman on a surreal and noirish journey.
- Inkan, gongkan, sikan grigo inkan (Human, Space, Time, and Human) – A senator and his son, a newly wed couple, a mysterious old man, a group of sex workers, and a violent gang all set off on a warship in Kim Ki-duk’s latest.
- Grass – Kim Min-hee sits in a coffee shop and observes the world around her in another whimsical drama from Hong Sang-soo.
- Last Child – After their son dies saving another child, the bereaved parents eventually bond with the boy he was trying to save though all is not as it seems.
- Old Love – A woman returns to Korea from Canada and re-encounters an old flame.
- Monster Hunt 2 – A sequel to the Chinese megahit set in a fictional past in which humans and monsters co-exist.
- An Elephant Sitting Still – The first and only feature film from the late Hu Bo, An Elephant Standing Still is a story of stagnation and the dream of escape.
- Rou qing shi (Girls Always Happy) – A mother and daughter lead frustratingly interdependent lives in Yang Mingming’s drama.
- Wang Zha de yuxue (Wangrak’s Rain Boots) – little Wangdrak just wants a pair of boots!
- 14 Apples – Midi Z’s documentary follows a businessman on a 14 day sojourn as a monk.
- Xiao Mei – A ordinary shop girl disappears leaving only confusion and mystery behind her.
- Die Tomorrow – Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit follows a collection of people through their last day.
- Ang Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil) – A Philippine rock opera from Lav Diaz set in the Martial Law era.
- Manila Scream Expanded – three shorts from underground filmmaker Roxlee.
- Sekala Niskala (The Seen and Unseen) – The second film from Kamila Andini, The Seen and Unseen follows one half of a pair of twins as she deals with the deteriorating health of her brother…
The Berlin International Film Festival takes place from February 15 – 25 at venues across the city. Ticket sales begin 12th February via the official website and you can keep up with all the latest details via the festival’s Facebook Page, Twitter account, YouTube and Instagram Channels.