Carpet in opening ceremony was red, different from petition on the internet that asked that festival adopt the color black in solidarity with the victims of sexual abuse.
Film stars and activists took advantage of the opening of the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday (15) to support the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment in the industry.
Replicas of the scandal of American producer Harvey Weinsteindominated the opening ceremony, which began with the presentation of “Isle of Dogs,” the second animated film by American Wes Anderson.
A petition on the Internet for the festival to put a black carpet instead of the traditional red in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse collected 21,000 signatures.
The carpet was red, but some stars chose to go dressed in black, such as at the Golden Globe in Hollywood.
German actress Anna Brueggemann has tweeted the #NobodysDoll hashtag to encourage the stars to switch from traditional high heels and short dresses to a more comfortable outfit.
However, the call had little echo. Known for her androgenic look, actress Tilda Swinton opted for a tuxedo.
American actor Bryan Cranston, one of the actors along with Swinton who lends his voice to Anderson’s film, was “very optimistic” with the #MeToo campaign. “Maybe we are at the dawn of a new society,” he told AFP.
“Isle of Dogs” chronicles the adventures of a boy, Atari, who seeks his faithful companion Spots, quarantined and a Japanese island due to an epidemic of canine influenza.
It is the fourth time Wes Anderson has been in the Golden Bear competition, which will be awarded on February 24 by the jury composed of, among others, Belgian actress Cecile de France, Spanish film historian Chema Prado and American producer Adele Romanski.
Accusations against Korean filmmaker
The first European festival since the outbreak of the scandal over Weinstein, which triggered a wave of accusations against other film personalities, the Berlinale had advanced that it will work to promote equality and respect for women in the industry.
On Thursday, German director Tom Tykwer, chairman of a joint jury that will select from 19 productions the next Golden Bear, asked that the debate “not be fed artificially (by the sensationalist means) nor be silent by anyone” .
Festival director Dieter Kosslick has announced that he has discarded films that had directors, actors or production people who were the target of credible allegations of sexual abuse.
But on the eve of the festival’s opening, a South Korean actress, who asked for anonymity, criticized the Berlinale for having invited filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk and her film “Human, Space, Time, and Human.” She accused the director of assault and forced her to shoot impromptu sex scenes while working on one of her films.
Kosslick told AFP he did not veto Kim because some allegations of sexual harassment filed by the same actress against the filmmaker were rejected for lack of evidence, adding that he was waiting for more information.
On Thursday, more than 100 South Korean civil society groups issued a communiqué denouncing an “unjust reality, in which the harasser is working and being received everywhere as if there was nothing, while the victim (. ..) is being isolated and marginalized “.
Two Latin American films in dispute
Around 400 films will be shown in Berlin over 11 days. The Mexican Alonso Ruizpalacios (“Güeros”) competes with “Museo”, carried out by Gael García Bernal and Leonardo Ortizgris, on the spectacular assault on the National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City executed by two students in 1985.
“Las heederas”, the first feature by Paraguayan Marcelo Martinessi, tells the story of a couple of women facing economic difficulties.
Gus van Sant will present “Do not worry, he will not get far on foot”, in which Joaquin Phoenix lives a quadriplegic alcoholic.
“Damsel”, featured as a feminist Westerner, will star Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska.
Outside the competition, Brazilian Jose Padilha will present “7 days at Entebbe,” a British and American co-production of the Israeli operation to free the hostages of an airplane seized by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1976.
Also notable is the production of the Spanish Isabel Coixet “La biblioteca”, which this month took three Goya Awards; and “Viaje a los fumigados,” by the Argentinean Fernando Solanas, who denounces the harmful effects of the agricultural industry on the environment and health.