While adults geek out on the latest from Scorsese and Polanski at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, the kids get their very own Generations sidebar. With films ranging from hard-hitting documentaries like Neukölln Unlimited to the sci-fi romance of SUMMER WARS, it’s a menu that caters to a very varied group of tastes. Some things remain constant, though, like bullying, pain-in-the-neck siblings, road trips and parents who just don’t seem to understand. Click on the titles to watch trailers.
Les Nuits de Sister Welsh (Sister Welsh’s Nights)
Emma (Naissance des pieuvres’s Louise Blachere) escapes from the pressures of teenage life by creating a fantasy world. It’s populated by her overbearing mother and the swooning heroine Sister Welsh, who yearns to escape her convent school for the hunky arms of Capt. Grant. Emma happily lives in her imaginative universe until a boy takes an interest. Directed by Jean-Claude Janer.
A Lebanese family of hip-hop dancers living in Berlin’s Neukölln district is threatened with deportation. Lial and Hassan Akkouch raise money so their brother Maradona can stay in the country, but the youngster falls in with a bad crowd. Agostino Imondi and Dietmar Ratsch’s documentary is like Save the Last Dance if it were real. And good.
Retratos en un mar de mentiras (Portraits in a Sea of Lies)
Jairo is a photographer. Marina is his amnesiac mute cousin. Yep, she carries a lot of baggage. The death of their grandfather in a landslide inspires them to drive from Bogota to the coast to reclaim the family homestead. Director Carlos Gaviria says his drama examines at how the Colombian optimism co-exists with a brutal civil war. With Paola Baldion.
Bored with his father’s hair oil business, Vishnu (Abhay Deol) agrees to deliver a decrepit mobile cinema to an auto museum. In the best tradition of Easy Rider and Thelma and Louise, he gets up to his stick shift in eccentric passengers and life-changing experiences. The first dramatic feature in a decade from Dev Benegal, director of the landmark 1994 Hindi film English, August.
Life is not easy for Sebbe, but then it never is for teenagers–Swedish or otherwise. His dad is MIA and his single mother shows the strain of juggling parenthood and work. Their apartment is uncomfortably claustrophobic. Bullied at school, Sebbe focuses on finding material for his inventions. One of them is a bomb. That’s when things get explosive in Babak Najafi’s drama.
HK filmmaker Alex Law (Chou tin dik tong wah) draws on his memories as a shoemaker’s son for this autobiographical feature. It’s 1969 and America looks set to win the race to the moon. Our astronaut-obsessed hero keeps his feet on the ground in Hong Kong while looking at the world through a goldfish bowl.
Sukunsa viimeinen (Pudana – Last of the Line)
Know the Nenets? The indigenous Siberian people have been hard-done by Russia, who forcibly displaced them from their oil-rich territories. They’re the subject of this film by Markku Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui, who drew on her childhood experiences for the project. Dismayed when her life of salmon-fishing is swapped for a harsh Soviet boarding school, a plucky Nenet plans a daring escape into the icy tundra.
Kenji gets a summer job in Nagano so he can be close to his beloved Natuski. Then she asks him to pose as her fiancé. The romantic shenanigans are complicated by the usual psychotic avatars and virtual worlds in this Japanese anime from Mamoru Hosoda, which won the Best Animated Feature prize at Sitges.
Anton is very disappointed in his older brother Buller. He wants the bigger boy to defend him from the school bullies. But Buller is autistic. Their relationship changes when Anton discovers a remote control device that makes Buller stronger, braver and more confident. How long can it last? Directed by Birger Larsen, whose short Skal vi vaere kaerester? was nominated for an Oscar in 1997.
Tags: Abhay Deol, Agostino Imondi, Alex Law, Anastasia Lapsui, Babak Najafi, Berlin Film Festival, Birger Larsen, Carlos Gaviria, Chou tin dik tong wah, Dev Benegal, Dietmar Ratsch, Echoes of the Rainbow, English August, Jean-Claude Janer, Les Nuits de Sister Welsh, Louise Blachere, Mamoru Hosoda, Markku Lehmuskallio, Naissance des pieuvres, Neukölln Unlimited, Paola Baldion, Portraits in a Sea of Lies, Pudana - Last of the Line, Retratos en un mar de mentiras, Road Movie, Samâ wôzu, Save the Last Dance, Sebbe, Shui Yuet Sun Tau, Sister Welsh’s Nights, Sitges Film Festival, Skal vi vaere kaerester?, Sukunsa viimeinen, Summer Wars, Superbror, Superbrother