Berlin & Beyond

Berlin & Beyond, a German film festival here in San Francisco, has been excellent this year. On Thursday evening, I saw “Irgendwo in Afrika” (translated as “Nowhere in Africa”) which was the best of the three films I’ve seen at the festival so far. It was a very compelling portrait of a Jewish family that flees Nazi persecution to a new life in Africa. Highly recommended!

The second film I saw on Friday afternoon was about a schizophrenic guy. I found the film quite disturbing, especially knowing that my cousin Deirdre recently went back to the hospital for treatment for mental illness.

The third film, which I saw this evening, was called “Nackt” (or “Naked”). It involved three couples who are suffering from existensial crises of sorts. They meet for dinner and end up playing a game where they get naked and try to tell each other apart. Messy troubles and unexpected pleasures result from the game. Dorris Doerrie, the director, was there and suggested that she was trying to take the typical film dialog a bit further into explorations where most films fail to go. It was quite good.

I will go to one more film of the festival tomorrow evening.

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