We didn’t venture any predictions this year, as the exercise seemed difficult and the selection was much less political than what the Berlinale had been used to. Usually, we had a pretty good nose for it, and films that manage to combine a beautiful artistic form, a sense of provocation with a strong and topical political message are excellent candidates for the Golden Bear. But this year, the most artistically interesting film in our opinion (Mal Viver) was not without its flaws (its relative length, its theoretical side pushed a little too far, and its disconnection from today’s world), and the other films proposed of quality did not necessarily stand out. Kristen Stewart‘s Jury decided to respond to the Mostra in a way, by honoring a French documentary Sur l’Adamant by Nicolas Philibert that promotes the work done in a day hospital in Paris. This choice was clearly not ours, because the documentary suffers from two major flaws, a relatively ordinary form, and especially an angle of attack that disturbed us: supposed to fight the image that people suffering from mental disorders may have, conveyed by the media and the cinema (a fair observation), the documentary establishes a new one, just as reductive and criticizable (the delusions of the patients make them different, marginal beings, to be taken care of by effective pills and to whom recreational activities must be proposed to help them not to rebuild themselves, but to spend time with their fellow man). The choice is therefore the opposite of the one made at the Mostra, which honored a documentary by Laura Poitras with a radical and accusing statement, which pays tribute to an artist, to her art, to her struggles, all in an impressive investigative exercise (thorough archives, powerful and sensitive interviews) benefiting from a virtuoso editing style. Watching Sur l’Adamant, one wonders if flayed artists like Nan Golding or Van Gogh would have the right to be quoted because of their vision of the world outside the system… The rest of the award list corresponds much more to our own feelings.
Hereafter are the awards winners