DOC NYC Michel Gondry Noam Chomsky

Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting’s 'The Last Hijack' to open documentary section

LONDON — The Berlin Film Festival has completed the lineup for the Panorama Dokumente section, which is devoted to documentaries. Sixteen films have been selected, including 10 world premieres.

It will open on Feb. 7 with the world premiere of Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting’s “The Last Hijack,” which looks at what drives piracy in Somalia.

Africa is also the setting for Swedish filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson’s “Concerning Violence,” which examines the process of decolonization in Africa. Olsson presented “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975,” about the African-American civil rights movement, in the Panorama section in 2011.

The history of photography is shown from an African-American perspective by Thomas Allen Harris in “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People.”

In “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?,” Michel Gondry conveys with ingenuity and humor his impressions from a series of conversations with American linguist Noam Chomsky.

Panorama has a tradition of music films, which is carried forward this year with Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s “20,000 Days on Earth,” which is a poetic portrait of Australian musician, author and actor Nick Cave.

History is also a strong strand in the section with Johann Feindt’s “Meine Mutter, ein Krieg und ich” (My Mother, a War and Me) retracing the tracks of World War II through the Ukraine, and Annekatrin Hendel’s “Anderson” focusing on Sascha Anderson, a charismatic pop star of the alternative literature scene in East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg during the 1980s, who was also a zealous informant for the Stasi.

The slogan “Unfuck the world!” resonates in “Another World,” by American filmmakers Rebecca Chaiklin and Fisher Stevens, which captures an attitude toward life embodied by the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011.

With “Natural Resistance,” Jonathan Nossiter takes a different approach to the same purpose: 10 years after the director’s “Mondovino,” which looked at the impact of globalization on the world’s different wine regions, he provides insights into ecological vineyards, as well as developments in the other direction, the destruction of land caused by industrial wineries in Italy.

Several works revolve around the theme of emancipation: Gianni Amelio’s “Felice chi e diverso” (Happy to Be Different) delivers an account of gay history in Italy, while Claudia Richarz and Ulrike Zimmermann’s “Vulva 3.0” gives an analysis of the perception of the vulva — from education and censorship, to genital mutilation and intimate surgery.

In other news, the Panorama will screen Derek Jarman’s debut film “Sebastiane” to mark the 20th anniversary of his death. A new 2K digital version, remastered from the original camera negative by the BFI National Archive, will be screened.

The PanoramaPublikumsPreis, the Panorama’s audience award for the best fiction and documentary feature, will be presented on the last day of the fest, Feb. 16. After the ceremony, there will be a screening of the winning films. Last year almost 28,000 moviegoers voted.

The Teddy Award Gala will be held at the Komische Oper Berlin on Feb. 14 to pay tribute to the best gay films of the Berlinale.

PANORAMA DOKUMENTE
“20,000 Days on Earth” (U.K.). Dir: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard. European Premiere.
“Anderson” (Germany). Dir: Annekatrin Hendel. World Premiere.
“Another World” (U.S.). Dir: Rebecca Chaiklin, Fisher Stevens. World Premiere.
“Concerning Violence” (Sweden/U.S./Denmark). Dir: Goran Hugo Olsson. European Premiere.
“Der Anstaendige” (The Decent One) (Israel/Austria/Germany). Dir: Vanessa Lapa. World Premiere.
“Der Kreis” (The Circle) (Switzerland). Dir: Stefan Haupt. World Premiere.
“Felice chi e diverso” (Happy to Be Different) (Italy). Dir: Gianni Amelio. World Premiere.
“Finding Vivian Maier” (U.S.). Dir: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel. European Premiere.
“Fucking Different XXY” (Germany). Dir: Mor Vital, Kay Garnellen, Felix Endara, Sasha Wortzel, J.Jackie Baier, Buck Angel, Jasco Viefhues, Gwen Haworth. World Premiere.
“Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” (France). Dir: Michel Gondry. European Premiere.
“The Last Hijack” (Netherlands/Germany/Ireland/Belgium). Dir: Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting. World Premiere.
“Meine Mutter, ein Krieg und ich” (My Mother, a War and Me) (Germany). Dir: Tamara Trampe, Johann Feindt. World Premiere.
“Natural Resistance” (Italy). Dir: Jonathan Nossiter. World Premiere.
“The Dog” (U.S.). Dir: Frank Keraudren, Allison Berg. European Premiere.
“Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” (U.S.). Dir: Thomas Allen Harris. International Premiere.
“Vulva 3.0” (Germany). Dir: Claudia Richarz, Ulrike Zimmermann. World Premiere.

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