‘Apart Together’ to open Berlin fest

Forum section announces 40th edition lineup

Chinese drama “Tuan yuan” (Apart Together), from 2007 Golden Bear winner Wang Quan’an, will open this year’s Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 11.

The love story, which depicts the tragedy of a divided country, centers on a former soldier who flees from China to Taiwan in 1949 and reunites with his lost love decades later. “Apart Together” will also screen as part of the fest’s Culinary Cinema sidebar.

Wang won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2007 for “Tuya’s Marriage.”

Another Asian film, Yoji Yamada’s Japanese drama “Otouto” (About Her Brother), about a woman who looks after her troubled sibling, will close the fest. Out-of-competition screening marks Yamada’s seventh visit to the Berlinale. Yamada has another film there, “Kyoto Story.” Pic, co-directed by Tsutomu Abe, unspools in the Forum’s sidebar, which announced its lineup Tuesday.

The Forum, celebrating its 40th anniversary, will unspool 34 films including 19 world premieres and 12 international preems.

Among the local pics screening in the section is “Orly,” Angela Schanelec’s mosaic of personal stories set in the Paris airport.

Tatjana Turanskyj’s feature debut, “The Drifter,” offers a portrait of a middle-aged woman who loses her job.

Crime is one of the running themes in the lineup. Dominik Graf’s “Im Angesicht des Verbrechens,” conceived as an eight-hour miniseries, looks at Russian mafia activities in Berlin. Thomas Arslan’s “In the Shadows” follows an ex-con preparing one last job while trying to evade a corrupt police officer. French feature “Native of Eurasia,” by Lithuanian director Sharunas Bartas, follows a gangster on the run across Europe.

In Turkish director Tayfun Pirselimoglu’s “Haze,” a criminal plot surrounding a contract killing hovers over a drama about life and death in Istanbul.

Arvin Chen’s directorial debut, “Au revoir Taipei,” follows a young Taiwanese man who runs afoul of gangsters.

The 60th Berlinale closes Feb. 21.

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