Berlin unveils first competition films

'There Will Be Blood' joins lineup

“S.O.P. Standard Operating Procedure,” Errol Morris’ examination of human rights violations at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq; Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis; and Brazilian box office hit “Tropa Elite” (The Elite Squad), about the brutal war between gangs and police in Rio de Janeiro, will be among the titles contending for the Golden Bear at next year’s Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off Feb. 7.

The lineup was released Monday in Berlin.

“Blood” will be the sixth film starring Day-Lewis to screen in Berlin and the fifth in the main competition section, after “In the Name of the Father” (1994), “The Crucible” (1997), “The Boxer” (1998) and “Gangs of New York” (2003). “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” directed by his wife, Rebecca Miller, screened in Panorama in 2005.

In addition to poignant themes of corruption, military abuse and the lasting effects of human greed, the first eight pics selected for competition also address the human struggle with suffering, disease and death.

Mexican director and former Berlinale Talent Campus participant Fernando Eimbcke tells the story of a teen coping with his father’s sudden death in “Lake Tahoe,” while German helmer Doris Doerrie’s “Cherry Blossoms — Hanami” revolves around a man with cancer who must come to grips with the unexpected death of his wife.

Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai, who won the Silver Bear in 2001 for “Beijing Bicycle,” is back with “Zuo you” (“In Love We Trust”), about a mother who has cancer and resorts to unusual measures to save her firstborn.

In “Gardens of the Night,” Damian Harris follows the fate of two children who are abducted and held captive for nearly 10 years. Pic stars Gillian Jacobs, Evan Ross, Tom Arnold and John Malkovich.

Andrzej Wajda, who received the Golden Bear for lifetime achievement in 2006, will present his latest work, “Katyn,” out of competition. Pic examines the long-taboo subject of the 1940 massacre of thousands of Polish war prisoners by the Soviet secret service.

More Scene

  • Margot Robbie Once Upon a Time

    Margot Robbie Says 'Barbie' Movie Will Put 'Positivity' Into the World

    Over the last 10 years, Margot Robbie has stepped into the skates of Tonya Harding, taken up the mantle of Harley Quinn and, next up, she’s playing the world’s most famous doll, Barbie. The live-action film is due out in 2020 and set to be written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, while Robbie serves [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With

    Outfest Opens With Documentary About Gay Porn Shops Circus of Books

    Granted, the red carpet at the opening night of Outfest in DTLA may not have been the most star-studded but it was without a doubt the most diverse, inclusive and, yes, fabulous. “I’ve never been here before,” admitted “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Trixie Mattel, who stars in the documentary “Moving Parts.” “It’s supposed to be [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse Opens New Downtown Los

    Alamo Drafthouse Storms into L.A. with New Location

    “Cinema is alive and well tonight!” Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League declared at the theatrical venue’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday night, where a gathering of 160 employees cheered and sliced into a strip of 35mm film in keeping with the company’s tradition. Despite dire predictions heralding the end of the theater-going experience, League was upbeat [...]

  • America Ferrera'Superstore' TV show photocall, Comic

    America Ferrera Blasts 'Send Her Back' Chant: 'Embarrassing and Shameful'

    America Ferrera has been a longtime political activist who has focused a large part of her work on immigrant rights. She’s now speaking out about the chant of “send her back” targeting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that was shouted at a President Donald Trump rally earlier this week. “It’s devastating and shocking and embarrassing and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content