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Magic and dark sides of the „jogo bonito”: The „11mm” Soccer Film Festival in Berlin focused on Brazil

  When the Football World Cup starts on 12th of June, the whole world will look to Brazil. In contrast, the fact that there a military coup occurred exactly 50 years ago, barely attracted attention internationally. In the four-part film documentary „Memórias do Chumbo – O Futebol nos Tempos do Condor” (2013 ), the Brazilian director Lúcio de Castro is addressing to the influence of the military dictatorships in Brazil, Chi...

Stay or go? „Los Ángeles” by Damian John Harper about Zapotec youth in southern Mexico at Berlinale´s Forum section

Somewhere in Oaxaca, southern Mexico: 16 years old Mateo lives here in a rural community, where the traditional Zapotec culture is still alive. But on the other hand it´s a poor region from where a lot of the young people migrate to the US. Mateo itself prepares his – dangerous – crossing of the border to reach the almost mythical city of Los Angeles. For this reason he joins a local gang, so that he can draw on their support over there. To be accepted into their circles, he ...

Empathic urban road-trip: „Güeros” by Alonso Ruizpalacios at Berlinale portrays young people in Mexico lovingly

1999 in Mexico City: „Fede”, his roommate Santos and Fede´s younger brother Tomás hanging out in a spartan housing block apartment somewhere in the big city. They have nothing to do, because the university is currently on strike, the power is turned off and the fridge almost empty. And Fede, also called „Sombra” (shade), is afraid of going to be crazy – because of the Tiger, who is haunting in his head. What fairly desolate starts, becomes in &bd...

Best ever: „Maradona by Kusturica” (Spain, 2008) and „Fimpen” (Sweden, 1973) won at „11mm” Soccer Film Festival in Berlin

In Germany we say: „Fußball ist die schönste Nebensache der Welt“ (an English translation could be: „Football is the nicest minor matter in the world”). Others are sometimes more radical – like the Scottish ex-player Bill Shankly: Is football a matter of life and death? „I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” For sure is that soccer has I side, which is no laughing matter &nda...

Pain and absolution: „The two Escobars” about drug money and football in Colombia at the „11 mm” Soccer Film Festival

1989 will be remembered forever in history books as the year, when the Berlin wall came down. `Cause of this revolutionary event and his results, it´s almost forgotten what happened in other parts of the world at the same time. In Colombia, for example, the so called „drug war“ has been on his heights. Responsible for this, as the majority will respond, has been solely one person: Pablo Escobar, the „patrón“ of the Medellín Cartel. A namesake, who c...

Shady sides and happiness: The 10th edition of the „11mm” Soccer Film Festival in Berlin, 14th to 19th of march 2013

Winner or loser? To think only in this categories, that´s the cruel side of sport – not only of the professional. If you see the documentary „The Other Final” (Netherlands 2003, directed by Johan Kramer) you may think more about this dichotomy. It has been parallel to the Soccer World Cup final between Brazil and Germany in 2002, that a Dutch guy (after he was reflecting more about the meaning of losing ´cause the Netherlands didn´t qualify for the WC) orga...

What, if...? „The Lost World Cup” about the forgotten Football Championship in Patagonia 1942 at the „11mm” Soccer Film Festival

All soccer fans know these moments of „What would have happened, when...?“. If the normally so brilliantly playing defender of the own team, would have attended better, yes, then… Take, for example, the Champions League final from 1999: After 90 minutes Bayern Munich had a 1-0 lead. But ManU scored two goals within three minutes in injury time and won with 2-1. If ManU-striker Ole-Gunnar Solskjær would have guarded better, then... The Italian-Argentine film „Th...

„Success or disaster?” What the German press says about Berlinale, Part III

After one exhausting week with hundreds of films at Berlinale, nerves are on edge. Some have given up before – like columnist Harald Martenstein from „Tagesspiegel”: „There are strong people, and there are weak people. At Berlinale, you realize in the last third to which group you are belonging.” In his case it´s quite clear: Martenstein himself „passed out and then slept for 14 hours”. Others were hanging on – and are now grumbling, when...

Cinema and economy: „Burn it up Djassa” from Ivory Coast, Berlinale, Panorama section

If you are running out of money, don´t have an accreditation and losing your Berlinale tickets, which you have bought – that´s… Berlin. Different as our mayor said: Poor, but not sexy anymore (nowadays a visitor like the Australian musician Robert F. Coleman is claiming in a big „New York Times”-article that the slovenly life at so cheap Berlin has ruined his band – too many drugs and parties. But I don´t think you can blame the city when you a...

Clouds over the city: Berlin in winter – what the German press says, Part II

Dear guests, as a Berliner I have to apologize: Sorry for this awful weather! More mud than snow, a harsh and cold westerly and the sky almost always grey. Instead of „Heavens over Berlin” (the originally German title of Wim Wenders´„Wings of Desire”) we only can talk about the bank of clouds over the city in these days. „Süddeutsche Zeitung” from Munich (where they normally have snow all winter and beautiful mountains nearby) writes: If there is...

Don’t worry Berlin: Richard Linklater´s „Before Midnight” at Berlinale – and what the German press says…

For Richard Linklater „Before Midnight” is a kind of long journey back home-story. It has been in Berlin 1995, when he won with „Before Sunrise” his first important international trophy as a director – the „Silbernen Bären” (Silver Bear), Berlinale´s second place price. After „Before Sunset” nine years later on Linklater is now (again nine years later) presenting the sequel „Before Midnight” out of competition. After...

Tight-lipped Mexican heroes: „Workers“ from José Luis Valle, Berlinale, Panorama section

The film „Workers“ from José Luis Valle in the Panorama section tells the story of two wage-dependent persons in the Mexican border town of Tijuana. Rafael (Jesús Padilla) has been a cleaner for 30 years in a sterile light-bulb factory. Next day he should receive his pension – but then they refused it to him, because he is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador. Lidia (Susana Salazar) on the other hand is a maid of a rich, critically ill Mexican. This „Patr...

About Ole Schulz

Schulz Ole
(Freelance)

German freelance journalist, based in Berlin, who works for print, online media and the radio, travels around the world and covers Berlin and international Film Festivals as well. See for example: Cuban Shorts Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, www.deutschlandradiokultur.de/widerspruechliches-kuba.1013.de.html?dram:article_id=234335 and Amazonas Film Festival in Manaus, Brasil, www.deutschlandfunk.de/kino-im-urwald.691.de.html?dram:article_id=267877

 

 


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