Berlin 2008
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Berlin 2008

The Ecumenical Jury at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival (7-17 February 2008) gave awards in three sections: the Competition, the Panorama and the International Forum of Young Cinema. The Ecumenical Award in the Competition went to Il y a longtemps que je t’aime … (I’ve Loved You So Long) directed by Philippe Claudel (France/Germany, 2007). Citation: Coming out of prison after 15 years, Juliette, with the help of her sister and a friendly surrounding, gradually starts the process of rebirth, reconciliation and forgiveness, showing us that we are more than what we did and what is happening to us.

In addition, the jury gave a commendation to the film Zuo You (In Love We Trust) directed by Wang Xiao Shuai (People’s Republic of China, 2007). Citation: Set in contemporary Chine In Love We Trust is a beguiling, tightly woven tale that asks important questions about modern relationships and how far should one go to save the life of a child. Ultimately it is a film about the universal impact of love. It also shows us forgiveness and grace and reminds us of what it means to be part of the human family.

In the Panorama the jury gave its award to Boy A directed by John Crowley (Great Britain, 2007). Citation: Using light and space to stress the inner feelings of repentance and hope of a young man released from prison, the film Boy A shows how his attempts for a ‘new’ life and a life in truth are destroyed by the ignorance of individuals and the hunger for sensationalism by the media.

In the Forum, the jury gave its award to Corridor #8 directed by Boris Despodov (Bulgaria, 2008). Citation: Corridor #8 is an honest and open look at an area of the world suffering from a lack of connection. This film is really about hope, healing, and man’s shared humanity. In the Balkan countries of Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria, echoing the footsteps taken by the disciple Paul so long ago, the film asks, ‘Why do these countries have no means of common transportation?’ As borders, walls, and fences dominate man-made politics, this is an important reminder of Christian responsibility and human progress.

The members of the Ecumenical Jury were: Alina Birzache, Romania; Douglas P. Fahleson, USA; Julia Helmke, Germany (President of the Jury); Wolfgang Hussmann, Germany; Milan Simaček, Czech Republic; and Magali van Reeth, France.

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