Art & Entertainment

Berlin International Film Festival: Israel-Hamas War Becomes The Talk Of Town At The Berlinale

At the Berlin International Film Festival or The Berlinale, the ongoing Israel-Hamas war has become a hot topic of discussion. Not only are filmmakers signing out open letters protesting about the crisis, there are even filmmakers and even films which have reportedly spoken about the age-old conflict in the Middle East.

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Berlins International Film Festival Photo: Instagram
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The Berlin International Film Festival or, as it is more popularly called The Berlinale, is no stranger to political sparks. The festival, which is happening between February 15-25 this year, has been plagued by the tensions and conversations around the Israel-Hamas war. The conflict in the Middle Eastern countries has caused many people to take sides and give their opinions. This has caused some debates and protests at the festival this year.

At the red carpet of the opening day of the film festival on February 15, a few ‘Free Gaza’ signs were seen. They were held out without any disruptions from the organisers or anyone else. A few days later, on this last Sunday, a protest was staged by around 50 pro-Palestinian supporters. This was done at the European Film Market.

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There was also a bit of criticism around the conflict that came from the festival’s organisers itself. Curators of various sections of the festival came up with an open letter, which has till now been signed by around 60 contractors. This was done in order to release an official statement from the film festival regarding the current conflict in the Middle Eastern countries.

The Berlinale’s management duo, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian also empathised at the suffering of people due to the crisis in the Middle Eastern nations.

There was another open letter that came from the participants of another independently curated programs of The Berlinale, the Forum Expanded section. That letter had more than 100 signatories and they expressed their support for four of their colleagues who had to withdraw their works from the section right before the film festival started. They had withdrawn their films as part of the ‘Strike Germany’ movement. As per reports, Germany feels it has a historic responsibility to support Israel, and probably that’s what the participants are protesting against.

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At the same time, filmmakers from Israel who’re present at The Berlinale haven’t shied away from talking about their country’s government. There are quite many films which are being screened which have talked about the age-old conflict between the Middle Eastern nations. Most of these films have been very well-received by the audiences.

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