European Films

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

The Waldheim Waltz: A timely film about the World War II role of former Austrian president

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 March 2018

The events surrounding Kurt Waldheim’s campaign and subsequent election in 1985-86 played a major role in uncovering the real role played by the Austrian ruling elite in the Second World War.

Cottbus Festival of Eastern European Cinema

From Slovenia, Jan Cvitkovič’s The Basics of Killing: “We are all alone in capitalist society, especially when things go wrong”

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 November 2017

The “basics of killing” are the social measures and pressures that can destroy the lives of entire families in a short time.

Maren Ade’s award-winning Toni Erdmann: Slaves to modern global business

By Bernd Reinhardt, 9 January 2017

The considerable international success of the German film certainly has something to do with frustrating and bitter experiences of broad sections of the population.

Night Will Fall: A powerful depiction of Nazi atrocities

By Paul Mitchell, 26 November 2014

Night Will Fall explains the making of a remarkable work, the “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey”, which depicted the terrible crimes of the Holocaust in a ground-breaking and accurate manner.

Distortion and dishonesty: Ukrainian films at the Cottbus Film Festival

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 November 2014

The Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus, Germany has been an annual event since 1991.

The legacy of postwar Polish filmmaker Andrzej Munk

By Dorota Niemitz, 13 October 2014

Munk, part of a generation of Eastern European artists struggling to deal with the postwar situation, was able to create a humane and authentic portrait of his times.

64th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

Political agendas at this year’s Berlinale

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 February 2014

A notable feature of the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival was the manner in which certain leading figures in the film word openly promoted their retrograde political agendas.

63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

Unresolved issues in today’s filmmaking

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 February 2013

A number of interesting films from central and eastern Europe were awarded prizes in Berlin this year, but, unfortunately, they were not characteristic of the festival as a whole.

Some cinematic landmarks of the 1960s in Stalinist East Germany

By Bernd Reinhardt, 3 August 2011

Signs of social dissatisfaction with the Stalinist state in the 1960s were captured in a series of East German films, which were either immediately banned or dropped by cinemas after a short time.

The political tone at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival

By Jordan Mattos, 14 May 2011

The recent Tribeca Film Festival screened some interesting works from Serbia, Hungary, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Korea, France and Romania in particular.

I am Love and The Leopard: Italian cinema new and old

By Joanne Laurier, 27 July 2010

Numerous critics argue that director Luca Guadagnino’s I am Love represents something of a revival of Italian cinema, and compare the new film favorably to Luchino Visconti’s 1963 masterpiece, The Leopard.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010 Part 2: Susa—The type of life that requires illusions

By David Walsh, 11 May 2010

Susa, directed by Rusudan Pirveli and written by Giorgi Chalauri, comes from Georgia, the former Soviet Republic. The title character (played by Avtandil Tetradze) is a boy living in bad conditions, somewhere outside the capital city of Tbilisi.

Jacques Audiard’s Un prophète: An extreme case of making a virtue out of necessity

By Joanne Laurier, 20 April 2010

A 19-year-old homeless youth of North African descent is jailed in a French prison, where he develops into a new type of gangster.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 6

The jurist Fritz Bauer and Germany’s Nazi past

By Bernd Reinhardt, 17 March 2010

The documentary Fritz Bauer—Tod auf Raten (Fritz Bauer—Death by Instalments), directed by Ilona Ziok, celebrates the German jurist and prosecutor Fritz Bauer (1903-1968), who now—unjustly—is almost forgotten.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5

Romania, Bosnia, and the problems of immigrants

By Stefan Steinberg, 11 March 2010

Romanian cinema has won a reputation in the last few years with a series of films by younger directors attempting to come to grips with the consequences of the introduction of the capitalist free market following the collapse of Stalinism.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4

This year’s German films: In general, a more serious tone

By Bernd Reinhardt, 6 March 2010

A number of trends currently find expression in German cinema. On the whole, this year’s feature and documentary films on view at the Berlinale adopted a more serious tone.

Vincere—the tragic life of Ida Dalser, Mussolini’s first wife

By Richard Phillips, 28 November 2009

Vincere is about Ida Dalser, the first wife of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Directed by Marco Bellocchio, this audacious work should encourage audiences to examine the dark history of this period in more detail.

Germany: Berlin cinema shows films commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall

By Bernd Reinhardt, 11 August 2009

On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, a cinema in the German capital showed a retrospective of films dealing with the event.

Everlasting Moments: The world to be explored and preserved

By Joanne Laurier, 30 April 2009

At the age of 77, Swedish director Jan Troell is one of Europe’s more distinguished filmmakers. His latest film, Everlasting Moments, tells the story of Maria Larsson, a Finnish-born mother of seven and wife of Sigge, a flamboyant, militant docker.

La Fille Coupée En Deux, the new film from Claude Chabrol

By Hiram Lee, 29 December 2008

Veteran French New Wave director Claude Chabrol returns to the screen with an interesting but limited work inspired by the life of Evelyn Nesbit.