In the festive news at the end of 2023, we confirmed that the "Golden Bear" winner "On the Adamant" by the remarkable documentary filmmaker Nicolas Philibert will be included in the 28th Sofia International Film Festival's programme. Two more "Golden Bear"-nominees will have their first encounters with Bulgarian audiences in March 2024 - Christian Petzold's new film "Afire", starring the magnetic Paula Beer, and French cinema veteran Philippe Garrel's "The Plough".
One of the most admired films in the official Berlinale '23 selection was Christian Petzold's "Afire" - about the turbulent emotions between a group of acquaintances sharing a holiday cottage on the Baltic Sea. The protagonists of this story are Leon (Thomas Schubert), Felix (Langston Uibel), Devid (Enno Trebs) and Nadia (Paula Beer, who starred in several Petzold's movies) and different feelings can be found in the plot - kindness, affection, friendship, as well as various levels of passive aggression bubbling in the peculiar mix of human emotions. It all takes place against the backdrop of a forest fire, and the audience's attention is riveted by the dynamics of the relationships between the characters, which turn out to be shockingly intimate but also depressingly familiar. "Afire" won the "Silver Bear" - Grand Jury Prize in Berlin.
The French director Philippe Garrel, one of the representatives of the famous "New Wave", stays true to his original style in working on a classic story, and includes his son Louis and his daughters Esther and Léna as actors. His latest film tells the story of the relationship between three generations in a family of puppeteers (this was the profession of the director's father Maurice Garrel before he became an actor), who have kept up the tradition for years with their own show in Paris. The choice of setting is surely unusual and the narrative is saturated with numerous metaphors, including the title. The director, who worked on the script together with Jean-Claude Carrière and his wife Caroline Deruas, includes many themes, close to his heart: the life of an artist, family relationships, love and friendship, the influence of time on human life. "The Plough" was awarded the "Silver Bear" for directing at Berlinale '23.
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