Halfway through another Berlinale (my ninth!), I want to quickly note that really objectionable ticket prices have significantly reduced my ability to see the film that most interests me, meaning Eastern European film presented in the Panorama and Forum sections. The Berlinale is now charging 10 euros for these tickets, aside from the final day for the public, which it has maintained at a reasonable 6 euros. I have 3 films scheduled for then, but in the meantime I joined the Arsenal Kino, which is Berlin's cinematheque, and which offers a six month membership for 12 euros and a discount card of 6 films for 24 euros.
The Arsenal is a Forum venue, and the three films I´ve seen to this point from this division serve as rather interesting examples of the boundary between documentary and feature films that is just the sort of thing that the Forum does well. I especially want to recommend Koza (Goat) from Slovakia. This is my first Slovakian film, and just as with film from the Balkan region, I am impressed. It´s not an easy film, somewhat in the vein of An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker from Bosnia that won the 2013 Silver Bear.
The acting is spare, the story minimalist, but the emotional undercurrents in the
background are so strongly present, that they could almost represent a separate character
in their own right. I very much liked the scarcely seen but omnipresent female main character of the film. The last chance to see this film is Friday the 13th at the CineStar.
The other two films were, for me, more like filmed philosophical examinations of culture than what moviegoers are used to seeing. Spain´s Sueñan los Androides (Androids Dream), is a loose adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, and in that sense is probably more accessible than Mexico´s La Maldad. But both would be much more meaningful to people already familiar with the current realities within their respective countries. So for those of you Spaniards and Mexicans out there, I suggest these films are worth trying to track them down, though I can't imagine it will be that easy!