Berlin 2010
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Berlin 2010

The Ecumenical Jury at the 60th Berlinale awarded its Competition prize to Bal (Honey) directed by Semih Kaplanoglu (Turkey/Germany, 2010). A splendid portrait of the poet as a young child, Bal tells the story of the blossoming of the sensibility in a rural boy, Yusuf, living in the highlands of northeast Turkey. Immersed in a forest of overwhelming beauty, Yusuf´s life points to a connection with nature that provides not only material subsistence but spiritual learning, highlighting issues such as family love and involvement in the community. Bal invites us to go deeper into this forest, on a journey that mirrors the human soul seeking the ideals and people with whom we want to share life.
In the Panorama, the Jury awarded its prize to the film Kawasakiho Ruze (Kawasaki’s Rose) directed by Jan Hrebejk (Czech Republic, 2009). The film recounts an episode in the life of a distinguished psychologist who deals with memory and who has previously betrayed a friend who was then forced to emigrate. It explores questions of truth-telling and lying, responsibility and forgiveness, both within society and within the family. It emphasises the importance of collective and personal memory in a context of rebuilding a post-totalitarian country.
The Ecumenical Award in the Forum went to Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza) directed by Nicolas Wadimoff (Switzerland/Qatar, 2010). A documentary shot after the end of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza in 2009, the film offers impressions of daily life in Gaza, showing not only the ruins but the beautiful beach, drama classes for children and the reconstruction of a roundabout destroyed by the bombs. Hope and growth blend with the sorrow of lost family members and land cultivated for generations. Life is persistent, like a dandelion growing through cracks in the asphalt.
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