Berlinale – Festival of Evilness

Some personal thoughts on how Berlinale has become a festival of evilness.


Ifeel like I am reporting from the festival of evil, and of course this has nothing to do with the Berlinale itself. Always your choices are those that create your perception. For that reason I should only blame, or probably thank, some of the films I saw in the past 24 hours. To be more precise, I will focus on Muayad Alayan’s Love, Theft and Other Entanglements, Joshua Gil’s La Maldad, and most importantly Antoine Barraud’s Le Dos Rouge.

Despite the fact that these three films come from completely different countries – Palestine, Mexico, and France – and, especially, from different cinema traditions, they all meet on a common ground.  What are you really capable of doing and how sure are you about your true inner self? In Love, Theft and Other Entanglements a complete loser anti-hero could act worse than his enemies. In La Maldad a story of personal emotional revenge from the past could create a betrayal in the present. Finally in Le Dos Rouge a doomed artist – Bertrand Bonello – is struggling to find the best depiction of a monster that could satisfy his exemplary needs. Furthermore, each director has a different approach to his introspection. Alayan blends the genres while following serious issues with lightness, Gil goes extremely experimental by keeping the narrative absolutely realistic, and Barraud uses art as an excuse for cinematic psychotherapy.

After each of these screenings, the viewer might probably feel the need to go through the same procedure as the protagonists do. It is an inevitable act, since everything is suggesting that people can be the worst of their fears, someone they would not normally accept, but change was imminent due to love, money, or egoism. It is frightening to see this transformation in the personages’ stories, and it becomes even eviler when one realizes how this could also apply to one’s own personal story. The impact on me is certainly more powerful, as the alternation of feelings and situations occurred in such limited period of time. Despite the fact that I do not really want to explore my personal limitations of evilness, I have to admit that the appeal that these films have is horrifying!

Originally published: Festivalists

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