It may be true that all you need to make a film is a girl and a gun, but children have been an integral element since the Lumieres photographed a baby’s luncheon in 1895. Berlin’s Generations sidebar continues the tradition with over 50 features and shorts for and about those unknowable little buggers we like to call “the kids.” In the final installment of our preview, their stories range from life on the Georgia streets to South Korean orphanages to Michael Cera’s overactive imagination. Click on the titles to watch trailers.
Susa is a 12-year-old whose job delivering bootleg vodka takes him to some of the grimier corners of Georgia. He’s threatened by the police on one side and street gangs on the other. This grim existence is alleviated only by the promise that Susa’s father will one day return. Rusudan Pirveli’s feature debut also screened in the Bright Future sidebar at the 2010 Rotterdam Film Festival.
Director Fabian Hofman’s film is set among Argentine exiles living in Mexico. The teenager Javier is haunted by the memory of his older brother, who was killed by the military junta. Everybody wants to Javier to be the leader Adrian was. But all Javier wants is to be himself—whoever that is.
This Way of Life
A father-son drama plays out in the new documentary from Canadian filmmaker Thomas Burstyn. In the New Zealand mountains, Maori horse whisperer Peter Karena and his brood live a life of Rosseau-ian simplicity. The Karenas’ existence is threatened when a cataclysmic fire brings a simmering intergenerational conflict to a boil.
Uchu Show e Yokoso (Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW)
While away at a summer camp, five young kids discover a space alien named Pochi. When they help Pochi retrieve a valuable substance, he grants them the wish of traveling anywhere they like. This animated fantasy is directed by Koji Masunari, best known for helming the OVA series.
Vihir (The Well)
Nachiket and Sameer go to different schools, but the cousins keep touch through letters. Dreamy Nachiket yearns for escape and transcendence. Practical Sameer is just looking forward to the summer holidays. The boys’ reunion will change them forever in this Indian drama from Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni.
During the 1970s, a man brings his nine-year-old daughter to the outskirts of Seoul and leaves her in the care of a Catholic orphanage. Even as friends come and go, Jinhee (Kim Sae-ron) endures through a stubborn belief that her father is coming back to retrieve her. Dream on, kid. Directed by Ounie Lecomte, a Korean orphan who was adopted by a French family.
Youth in Revolt
In this adaptation of C.D. Payne’s cult novel, Michael Cera plays Nick Twisp, a 14-year-old attempting to reconcile his passion for art-house cinema with the desperate desire to get into the pants of Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). After making no headway, he adopts the suave alter ego Francois Dillinger. Soon Twisp is the talk of the trailer park.
When dad is from France and mom is from Japan, D-I-V-O-R-C-E can mean at least one long-distance relationship. Yuki is distraught at leaving best buddy Nina back in Paris. When efforts to get the parents back together, the young chums go on the run. Directed by Nobuhiro Suwa with French acting vet Hippolyte Girardot (Hors la vie).
Tags: A Brand New Life, Berlin Film Festival, C.D. Payne, Fabian Hofman, Hippolyte Girardot, Hors la vie, I Miss You, Kim Sae-ron, Koji Masunari, Michael Cera Portia Doubleday, Nobuhiro Suwa, Ounie Lecomte, OVA, Peter Karena, Rotterdam Film Festival, Rusudan Pirveli, Susa, Te extraño, The Well, This Way of Life, Thomas Burstyn, Uchu Show e Yokoso, Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni, Vihir, Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW, Yeo-haeng-ja, Youth in Revolt, Yuki & Nina