BERLIN — The strong geopolitical leanings of the Berlin Intl. Film Festival are very much present in its complete competition lineup, announced Thursday.
Raoul Peck’s “Sometimes in April,” about the Rwandan civil war, and Hany Abu-Assad’s “Paradise Now,” about the last 28 hours in the lives of two Palestinian suicide bombers, are among 21 titles selected.
Five pics are screening out of competition including Rwanda-set “Hotel Rwanda.”
Mark Dornford-May’s South African pic “Carmen in Khayelitsha” and Berlinale opener “Man to Man” also tell tales of Africa.
The rest of the lineup includes a varied selection of pics from around the world.
Andy Tennant’s “Hitch,” starring Will Smith as a date doctor, screens out of competition and adds some lightness to the list.
Mike Mills’ feature debut, “Thumbsucker,” starring Lou Taylor-Pucci, Vincent D’Onofrio, Keanu Reeves and Tilda Swinton, traces a young teenager’s descent into drug addiction.
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Unspooling as an international premiere, Paul Weitz’s “In Good Company” is the story of an ad sales exec at a major sports magazine who is forced to turn over his job to an ambitious whiz kid. Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Scarlett Johansson co-star.
In the U.S.-U.K. co-production “Heights,” the directorial debut of Chris Terrio and showing out of competition, the lives of five people are intertwined on a summer day in New York. Glenn Close, Isabella Rossellini and Elizabeth Banks star.
The world premiere of Russian helmer Aleksandr Sokurov’s “Solnze” (The Sun) is the third installment in his trilogy on the psychology of power and revolves around Japanese emperor Hirohito.
From Italy, director Stefano Mordini’s debut pic “Provincia meccanica” depicts how a young and unconventional family threatens to become undone by society’s norms.
The life of a man (Troels Lyby) takes a dramatic turn when his daughter accuses him of a serious crime in Danish helmer Jacob Thuesen’s “Anklaget” (Accused).
Another international preem is the episodic “Tickets,” by Ermanno Olmi, Abbas Kiarostami and Ken Loach. Pic, unspooling out of competition, interweaves stories of love, devotion and self-sacrifice on a train journey to Rome. Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, a member of 2004’s international Berlinale jury, stars.
In “Les mots bleu” (Words in Blue), by French director Alain Corneau, a teacher tries to find out why a little girl is so uncommunicative. Sylvie Testud, Sergi Lopez, Camille Gauthier and Laurent Petin co-star in this family story, which will be screening for the first time worldwide.
A man who leads a life at the edge of legality is the focus of French director Jacques Audiard’s “De battre mon coeur s’est arete” (The Beat That My Heart Skipped), another world premiere.
Director Tsai Ming-Liang, whose “He Liu” (The River) ran in competition in 1997, once more takes up the topic of alienation in “Tian bian yi duo yun” (The Wayward Cloud), a Taiwanese-Chinese-French co-production in which colorful musical numbers are juxtaposed with explicit sex scenes. Schiang Chyi Chen stars.
Also back at Berlin is Japanese director Yoji Yamada with “Kakushi ken-oni no tsume” (The Hidden Blade), about a samurai seeking his place in the world in a time of social upheaval. Pic stars Masatoshi Nagase.
As previously announced, fest will close with Bill Condon’s “Kinsey,” the U.S.-German co-production about sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, which is running out of competition. Liam Neeson and Laura Linney co-star.
“Anklaget” (Accused), Jacob Thuesen, Denmark
“Asylum,” David Mackenzie, U.S., Ireland
“De battre mon coeur s’est arête” (The Beat That My Heart Skipped), Jacques Audiard, France
“Gespenster” (Ghosts), Christian Petzold, Germany
“In Good Company,” Paul Weitz, U.S.
“Kakushi ken-oni no tsume” (The Hidden Blade), Yoji Yamada, Japan
“Kong que” (Peacock), u Changwei, China
“Le promeneur du bhamp de mars,” (The Walker of the Champ de Mars), Robert Guediguian, France
“Les mots bleu” (Words in Blue), Alain Corneau, France
” Les temps qui changent” (Changing Times). Andre Techine, France
“The Life Aquatic,” Wes Anderson, U.S.
“Man to Man,” Regis Wargnier, France, U.K.
“One Day in Europe,” Hannes Stoehr, Germany, Spain
“Paradise Now,” Hany Abu-Assad, Netherlands, Germany, France
“Provincia Meccanica,” Stefano Mordini, Italy
“Solnze” (The Sun), Aleksandr Sokurov, Russian Federation, Italy, France
“Sometimes in April,” Raoul Peck, U.S.
“Sophie Scholl,” Marc Rothemund, Germany
“Tian bian yi duo yun” (The Wayward Cloud), Tsai Ming-Liang, Taiwan, China, France
“Thumbsucker,” Mike Mills, USA
“U-Carmen eKhayelitsha” (Carmen in Khayelitsha), Mark Dornford-May, South Africa
Out of competition
“Heights,” Chris Terrio, U.S, U.K.
“Hitch,” Andy Tennant, U.S.
“Hotel Rwanda,” Terry George, U.K., South-Africa, Italy
“Kinsey,” Bill Condon, U.S., Germany
“Tickets,” Ermanno Olmi, Abbas Kiarostami and Ken Loach, Italy, U.K.