The 60th Berlin International Film Festival was held from 09 to 19 February 2006.
Plot : Set against the backdrop of a former Yugoslavia of the nineteen-nineties, this is a single mother’s anguish of how one must deal with truths and how to cope with a war’s terrible past. With a twelve year old daughter to bring-up, both mother and child come head-to-head when a school trip is in the air and complications and rude awakenings arise from the ashes’ of the cold and callous days of conflict, xenophobia and its secrets.
Plot : “A Prairie Home Companion”, hosted by humorist Garrison Keillor, is a down home radio variety show recorded and performed live in front of an audience in a theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. A show from another era, “A Prairie Home Companion” has been canceled. The regulars are performing on the last show, including Dusty & Lefty, singing/guitar playing cowboys with a risquÃ© sense of humor, and the Johnson Girls, a sister singing duo of Rhonda and Yolanda who have a penchant for talking over each other. As the show goes on, the regulars, backstage, talk about their lives in relation to the show. Other goings-on include Yolanda and others trying to convince her shy somber daughter, Lola, to sing on this last show. As all this goes on, a mysterious woman in a white trench coat who is on a mission wanders around the theater, while the show’s dim security guard, Guy Noir, who usually has nothing to do security-wise, follows.
Plot : This story is a narration from an Australian man who falls in love with two kinds of Candy: a woman of the same name and heroin. The narrator changes from a smart-aleck to someone trying to find a vein to inject, while Candy changes from an actress, call girl, streetwalker, and then a madwoman. Starting in Sydney, the two eventually end up in Melbourne to go clean, but they fail. This leads them to turn to finding money and heroin, while other posessions and attachments become unimportant.
Plot : In 1959, Truman Capote, a popular writer for The New Yorker, learns about the horrific and senseless murder of a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. Inspired by the story material, Capote and his partner, Harper Lee, travel to the town to research for an article. However, as Capote digs deeper into the story, he is inspired to expand the project into what would be his greatest work, In Cold Blood. To that end, he arranges extensive interviews with the prisoners, especially with Perry Smith, a quiet and articulate man with a troubled history. As he works on his book, Capote feels some compassion for Perry which in part prompts him to help the prisoners to some degree. However, that feeling deeply conflicts with his need for closure for his book which only an execution can provide. That conflict and the mixed motives for both interviewer and subject make for a troubling experience that would produce an literary account that would redefine modern non-fiction.
Plot : After nine years in psychiatric detention Theo, who has brutally assaulted and raped three women, is released. Living in a supervised community, he connects well with his social worker Sascha, finds a job at a print shop and even a girlfriend, Nettie, his principal’s brittle and estranged daughter. But even though superficially everything seems to work out Theo’s seething rage remains ready to erupt.
Plot : If the Minister of Planning gets out of his car, RubÃ©n gets out of his car. If the Minister of Planning turns left, RubÃ©n turns left. If the Minister of Planning goes to Mar del Plata, RubÃ©n goes to Mar del Plata with him. If the Minister of Planning goes to the country club with his family for the weekend, RubÃ©n has to go with them. If the Minister of Planning decides to rest and have a nap, RubÃ©n has to watch the sleeping man.
The Minder is a film about a job which entails replacing someoneâ€™s life for anotherâ€™s, about the pressure this builds up and how this pressure finally explodes.
Plot : Based on Michel Houellebecq’s controversial novel, this movie focuses on Michael and Bruno, two very different half-brothers and their disturbed sexuality. After a chaotic childhood with a hippie mother only caring for her affairs, Michael, a molecular biologist, is more interested in genes than women, while Bruno is obsessed with his sexual desires, but mostly finds his satisfaction with prostitutes. His pitiful life changes when he gets to know the experienced Christiane. In the meantime, Michael meets Annabelle, the love of his youth, again…
Plot : 32-year-old Charlotte (Dryholm) could have it all, but she doesn’t want any of it. When she moves away from her boyfriend, she happens to become the upstairs neighbor of the transsexual Veronica (Dencik). Veronica prefers to keep to herself with her little dog and a romantic soap show on TV, while Charlotte gets through the nights with one-night stands. An assault, a new bed, and some white curtains bring the two of them together and they end up as the main characters of their own turbulent “soap opera.”
Plot : The mobster Jackie DiNorscio is shot by his own cousin at home while in probation but survives. Later he is arrested dealing drugs and sentenced to thirty years in prison. The prosecutor Sean Kierney proposes a deal to Jackie, immediately releasing him if he testifies against the Lucchese family and other mafia families but Jackie does not accept to rat his friends that he loves. When the trial begins, he asks the judge Finestein to defend himself without the assistance of a lawyer.
Plot : After inadvertently killing his girlfriend, a man (Asano) flees Macau for Thailand in an attempt to cope with his guilt, and avoid possible arrest. But the relocation doesn’t prevent his problems from following him, as his new friends could be potential enemies.
Plot : On the eve of Macau’s handover to China, police officer Shing is having the worst time of his life. Suspended for suspected corruption, he tries to find solace with an elfin creature by the name of Yan, whom he just picks up. As he tries to smooth-talk her to bed, she suddenly snaps back with the biggest turn-off imaginable: that she is the daughter he never knew existed. While Shing desperately tries to hold himself together, his bachelor life inevitably falls apart as Yan insists on living under his roof. Together the two of them start roaming through exotic Macau, tracking down Yan’s missing puppy and striving to acquaint with each other. No sooner has Shing grown into his new role as a father than he finds his hands full: when Yan is not fighting with his girlfriend Kate, she is being bothered by her dorky classmate Fai.
Plot : A character study. Jeanne Charmant-Killman is an investigative magistrate, tough minded, swift moving, taking on a group of political fixers who pay bribes and skim large sums for personal use. She breaks them one at a time. Meanwhile, her work takes its toll: relations with her husband are strained, and the group under investigation strikes back by tampering with the brakes of her car and placing a mole in her office. Can she stand up to the pressure, and what’s her reward?
Plot : “Offside” is about a group of Iranian girls who attempts to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium dressed as boys in order to watch a big football match but some get caught and arrested. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, women are not allowed to enter the stadiums.
Plot : It is the 70′s, and in the German countryside the epileptic Michaela Klingler joins the pedagogy course at the University against the will of her pious mother, Marianne. However her father Karl Klingler rents her a room in the sorority house and Michaela travels to TÃ¼bingen. As the semester progresses, Michaela befriends her former high school friend, Hanna Imhof, who forces her to seek medical help. When Michaela has a crisis, she stops taking her medication and believes she is possessed by demons, and her health gets worse. She decides to seek out a priest, Martin Borchert, who believes in exorcism whereas the progressive parochial priest Gerhard Landauer tries to convince her to go to a psychologist.
Plot : A criminal known as The Libanese has a dream: to conquer the underworld of Rome. To carry out this feat without precedent he puts together a ruthless and highly organized gang. Their progress and changes in leadership (The Lebanese is followed by his cohorts Freddo and Dandy) take place over twenty-five years, from the 1970′s into the ’90′s, and are inseparably intertwined with the dark history of modern Italy: terrorism, kidnappings and corruption at the highest levels of government. Throughout these years Police Lieutenant Scialoia sticks to the gang’s trail, trying both to bring them to justice and to win the heart of Dandy’s girlfriend Patrizia
Plot : A man and a woman live in a village not far from Berlin. Out here, it feels as though the city were miles away. The couple have loved each other since they were children. They are inseparable. Both are now in their early thirties; he is a welder and a member of the auxiliary fire brigade. She works a few hours a week as a home help and sings in the choir. Their blissful relationship is so untrammelled by life’s little ups and downs that others regard them with a mixture of astonishment and mistrust. They give the impression of being as innocent and unsuspecting as a couple of children. One day, the man goes on a business trip to a large town with the fire brigade. After a night of heavy drinking and carousing he wakes up in another woman’s apartment. He can barely remember what went on. His efforts to find out what did occur lead to a passionate affair.
Plot : The film tells the story of affluent Sebastian (as well as his flatmate) who hooks up with women on the internet, only to meet up with them and capture their pictures beneath their skirts. Meanwhile, there is also an old drunkard, Kallmann, who is constantly out of money and trying to sell his poems. The two story weaves together when Sebastian decides to play a nasty prank on the unconscious Kallmann, dumping him at the countryside of Czech without his passport
Plot : Alex Hughes, an ex-convict, is on a road trip to Winnipeg to see an old friend. Along the way, he meets the annoying, but vivacious, Vivienne Freeman who manages to bum a ride with him. Just as he begins to warm to this eccentric girl, Alex’s vehicle is in a serious automobile accident that kills Vivienne. After his meeting with the police, Alex decides to speak with Vivienne’s mother. Upon arrival at her home, Alex discovers that the mother, Linda, is a highly functional autistic woman who convinces him to stay long to take out the garbage the day after the funeral he agrees to arrange. In those few days, Alex discovers new friends and learns more about the uniqueness of Linda even as he struggles to come to terms with his own grief.
Plot : In 2001, four Pakistani Britons, Ruhal Ahmed, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul and another friend, Monir, travel to Pakistan for a wedding and in a urge of idealism, decide to see the situation of war torn Afganistan which is being bombed by the American forces in retaliation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Once there, with the loss of Monir in the wartime chaos, they are captured by Northern Alliance fighters. They are then handed them over the American forces who transport them to the prison camps at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba. What follows is three years of relentless imprisonment, interrogations and torture to make them submit to blatantly wrong confessions to being terrorists. In the midst of this abuse, the three struggle to keep their spirits up in that face of this grave injustice.
Plot : A man is fired from his job. Having no more options, he decides to go find work abroad, leaving behind his wife and daughter. Months pass and his family hear no word from him. A stranger, a mechanic, arrives in town in search of work. His eyes wander to the beautiful young woman whom he hears no longer has a husband. A struggle to survive of a generation torn between wanting to leave its country yet bound by blood to home.
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