Berlinale 2024 - Selection

It is almost impossible to predict which films are the best of the Berlinale, thus every experience at the film festival will result in several disappointments. Even harder it is to manage to see the films that are more worthwhile, unless one is to watch every single film of the programme. Therefore, this selection of worthy films cannot represent the absolute best films of Berlinale 2024, it is just the Berlinale films I found to be better amongst those I have seen. Therefore there are no rankings, although roughly the films are listed from most to least appreciated.

DOSTOEVSKIJ, dir. Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo

Synopsis: A depressed detective tries to track down a serial killer nicknamed 'Dostoevsky' due to the letters he leaves on his victims.

In an era that sees continuous disappointmentsfor the detective genre (looking at True Detective: Night Country), psychogical crime thriller is a rare case of a modern TV miniseries that is a piece of cinematic art. Filippo Timi's performance is mental, the 16mm aesthetic beautiful, and a good in-story implementation of the prose of the D'Innocenzo

SPACEMAN, dir. Johan Renck

Synopsis: a Czech astronaut is sent to investigate a space anomaly.

The film version detours from the novel in the correct points, avoiding themes and narrative choices that would not have worked on-screen or would have been unfilmable. As a result, some aspects might be misunderstood by the viewer but the film maintains (and maybe even improves) the awe and beauty present in the novel.

CROSSING, dir. Levan Akin

Synopsis: An elderly lady and a boy look for her nephew, who ran away years ago, in a journey from Georgia to Istanbul.

A perfect example of how to treat social topics while simultaneously maintain the grip over narration. Crossing is a film that touches the viewer and gets across its message without any unnecessary detour, and a film that masterfully takes advantage of the visual power of cinema.

THE EDITORIAL OFFICE, dir. Roman Bondarchuk

Synopsis: When a young zoologist joins a local south-ukrainan newspaper, he ends up in a neverending vortex of chaos and absurdity.

A most relevant film that manages to describe the absurdity of the post-truth reality, that exposes ukrainan society's flaws and simultaneously is  prophetic, meditative. A kind of controlled chaos that rarely appears in cinema nowadays. 

ARCADIA, dir. Yorgos Zois

Synopsis: a couple mourn a death, but not everything is as it seems to be.

Definitely heir to the greek weird wave and Angelopoulos, Arcadia evolves into something much more emotional and involving than the works of Lanthimos or his lot. In many ways it is an adult fairytale that inverts the usual tropes of mourning in an unexpected and heart wrenching way.

A DIFFERENT MAN, dir. Aaron Schimberg

Synopsis: A man secretly auditions a play inspired by himself.

A metafictional quality of this feature puts at the center the question of non-normative identity representation and interpetation in cinema. The film employs the illusory power of cinema and tricks the audience in a simple and effective way.


Synopsis: a detective investigates mysterious crimes in Split, but the filmmaker unravels greater horrors through his story.

An experimental film to the bone. With a sense of humour but without losing gravitas, Travis Wilkerson traces the roots of croatian patriotism into the nationalist movements of the '40s. A documentaristic fiction, that is enjoyable to watch yet manages to tackle a very complex topic with utmost clarity.

I SAW THE TV GLOW, dir. Jane Schoenbrun

Synopsis: two teenagers start watching a tv show that will change their lives.

A film that builds a glittery fantasy microcosm that bends entirely reality in favour of fiction, and simultaneously becomes a work larger than its sum, capable of describing the generational despair of an unaccomplished youth, I saw the TV glow will leave the viewer thinking for a long time. Definitely avoid approaching as if it was a horror movie.


Synopsis: A bodybuilder and a gym clerk with a shady background end up on a violent path.

It is hard to describe without spoiling it, but in its core, Love Lies Bleeding is a subversion or maybe a repurposing of exploitation genre tropes, while simultaneously a film that purposefully avoids any further encasing into a concept or genre: the story continuously changes course unexpectedly, leaving the viewer clueless, and often perplexed.


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