Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!

Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!
An Affair with Chocolate – ©Sarah Robinson

I’m not sure you’ve noticed, but for the first time ever, I didn’t write a post in a week!

You might wonder why that was so.

After all, I was all geared up to write about the lovely time that we had in Slovenia.

Well, firstly, something rather wonderful happened and equally, something rather awful happened too!

I’ll be telling you about the wonderful thing in about a fortnight (two weeks), but I probably won’t ever tell you about the awful thing, as it concerns people who I love.

Hello from Germany!

I live in Berlin.

In Germany.

And let me tell you, events have made it crystal clear how lucky I am to be living here, and the speed and efficiency in which things are done.

The German Way!

And since it’s been some time since I’ve actually written about Berlin, perhaps I should.

Book your hotel here!

Get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

On that note, I’ve decided to write a compilation of the best articles that I’ve written about Berlin.

If you’re here for the first time, join in the fun.

I know I will!

If you’re a new reader, you’ll see a Mail Chimp subscription pop-up. Eek!

However, before we start, you might notice a tiny change on the blog. If you’re a new reader, you’ll see a Mail Chimp subscription pop-up. Eek!

There’s nothing to fear. As always, you’ll never receive any spam or weird emails from me, however, in September, I’ll start sending out a newsletter so you’ll get the latest update as to what I’ve been up to. And let me tell you, it’ll blow your mind!

If you haven’t already done so, please join up.

Berlin – very British – rbb

For those of you who have been dying to hear how I sound, there are a few videos on the side bar. Sadly, the documentary and various other TV show that I did in German, are no longer available online, but if you’re a member of the press, and wish to see them, copies are available!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to London, here’s what you missed:

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

Good times!

And now, without further ado, here the best articles that I’ve written about Berlin.

Enjoy!

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BEST OF BERLIN – 4 YEARS AND COUNTING!

The beautiful French Quarter – Gendarmenmarkt – in Berlin

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Best German meals to try out in Berlin – Currywurst!

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At the Berlin Music Video Awards (BMVA)
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

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Hugh Jackman – Logan – at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
©Berlinale

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Backstage
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin SPRING/SUMMER 2017
©Nass / Brauer

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography

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Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

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Eddie Izzard
ⒸSerious Fun Quatsch Comedy Club, Berlin
On the border between East & West Berlin in Germany.

And my two favourites:

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

BEST OF BERLIN – 4 YEARS AND COUNTING!

The TV tower in Berlin.

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my very own!

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

I’ll be there. Will you?

It’s all about the beer – Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!

Have you ever been to Berlin? What do you think is “best”?

Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

OMG!

Last week was just fabulous!

As you know, I was invited to take part in a radio programme. At the BBC!

It was so exciting.

More about that below!

It happened so fast, that I didn’t even have time to tell anyone that I was going to be in the paper!

But just before we go into it, remember when I told you that there was a call going around, for British people living locally. And that  I was featured in the national Sunday paper, and that the feature had to be axed in order to make room for the passing away of the well-respected and most honoured, former Chancellor of Germany – Herr Helmut Kohl.

Well, guess what?

It wasn’t actually axed!!!

Obviously, it was greatly reduced. GREATLY REDUCED!!

But who cares? Right!

BILD AM SONNTAG – GERMANY’S BIGGEST NATIONAL SUNDAY NEWSPAPER!

Bild am Sonntag is the largest-selling national Sunday newspaper in Germany!
©Axel Springer

The feature was for a national Sunday paper called Bild am Sonntag, which is the largest-selling German national Sunday newspaper!

The LARGEST-SELLING German national Sunday newspaper!

It was a great opportunity, and, as I told you last week, I was a little nervous as it’s a tabloid paper, similar to Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World!

Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! / Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!
The British Berliner BAMS I – ©Axel Springer

They wanted to write a feature on Britain and British people living in Germany, because of Article 50 and the question of EU Citizens’ Rights in the UK.

The feature was called – Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! Or “Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!” It was a description about how many British people were living in Germany, our successes, and if, due to the horror of Brexit, we had thought about changing nationalities, and what it was like if we had!

After much contemplation, and a promise that I would get final approval of everything we discussed, I went ahead.

The journalist who contacted me was as good as her word.

And as you know. I thought the piece wouldn’t be published, so I sent the journalist a message to say how pleased I was nevertheless, only to hear that the feature had been published after all!!

YES!

Amazing news don’t you think!

Exit vom Brexit – Wir sind die neuen Germans! / Exit from Brexit. We are the new Germans!
The British Berliner BAMS I – ©Axel Springer

Ha! Ha! Ha!

The original interview was much, much longer and actually had to be cut to just a few lines! But when you’re featured in a newspaper such as Bild am Sonntag, you’re just grateful for the opportunity.

Which I am!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©AFP / Getty Images

I wasn’t able to buy the newspaper as I only knew about it a few days later, and the issues had been sold out, or returned!

NOTE: A copy of the newspaper has recently been sent to me!

I do however, have a little excerpt, as the full article can only be read by subscribers.

It’s only €0.99 for the first month of the digital version. If you can speak German, or are just interested, here’s the link!

They also booked a photographer who was very sweet and took quite a few photographs, which I liked very much. At the location of my choice.

I chose the gardens of the Humboldt University in Berlin!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

Don’t I look pretty?

Book your hotel here! 

HOW I WENT ON THE RADIO FOR THE BBC!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

So the BBC!

Yeah!!!

I was asked if I would like to be a part of BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour.

I accepted!

BBC Radio 4 is a huge deal in the UK.

A HUGE DEAL!

WHAT IS BBC RADIO 4?

Being on the BBC Radio is a huge deal!

BBC Radio 4 is a radio station owned and operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history.

It replaced the BBC Home Service back in 1967 and is part of BBC Radio and the BBC Radio department.

The station is broadcast from the BBC’s headquarters at Broadcasting House, London.

And let me tell you, when I got the call, I was leaping up and down in excitement.

And sweat!

Bathed in sweat. Eek!

BBC Radio 4 is the second most popular domestic radio station in the UK!

It broadcasts  throughout the UK, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands AND can be received in parts of Ireland, the north of France and Northern Europe!

It’s also available through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and on the Internet. Its’ sister station, BBC Radio 4 Extra (formerly BBC Radio 7), complements the main channel by broadcasting repeats from the Radio 4 archives, extended versions of Radio 4 programmes, and supplements to series such as the The Archers and Desert Island Discs!

Wow!

Gulp!

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BBC RADIO 4 – WOMAN’S HOUR – LATE NIGHT WOMAN’S HOUR

BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour hosted by Lauren Laverne
©Phil Sharp

Woman’s Hour is a radio magazine programme broadcast consisting of reports, interviews and debates on health, education, cultural and political topics aimed at women.

I’m going to be on the spin-off series called Late Night Woman’s Hour, presented by Lauren Laverne.

The series airs on a late night slot and each episode is on a single topic for discussion every month!

The topic for June 2017, was on Travel and Adventure!

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WHO WAS THERE?

We were a panel of 5 professional women and experts in our field, including the host:

  • Lauren Laverne – radio DJ, model, television presenter, author, singer, comedian, and host of BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour
  • Rana Rahimpourjournalist and news presenter with BBC Persian TV
  • Lois Pryce – a writer, journalist, co-founder and curator of the Adventure Travel Film Festival, and adventurer who’s ridden her motorbike across much of the world!
  • Carolyn Pearsoncreator of Maiden Voyage, a travel network for women
  • Victoria Ade-Genschow (me) – The Editor in Chief of The British Berliner and a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, writing about Berlin, Britain and Europe, her love of culture, history, literature, theatre, style, the English Language and travels around the world, living a life of both style and travel. Described by the BBC as “a passionate advocate of travelling with a family and on a budget, she blogs at http://www.thebritishberliner.com and her motto is “just go!”

If she can do it. So can you!

WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING AT THE BBC?

And then I went to Covent Garden!

It was greeeeeeat!

I flew in from Berlin on the day, and after checking into my business hotel – The Wesley – promptly left to go to the museum!

Yes.

I’m that girl!

Book The Wesley or your London hotel here!

I flew in & after checking into my business hotel – promptly left to go to the Charles Dickens Museum!

I went to my favourite museum – the Museum of London – and to a new find – the Charles Dickens Museum.

And then I went to Covent Garden!

I’ll tell you all about it next week!

On getting to BBC Broadcasting House, I switched shoes (don’t ask), and walked briskly into the confines of the BBC building, but not without taking some photographs first!

If you squint, you can see the BBC building behind the temple-like structure at the front!

Then I went to the BBC Reception Desk, made myself known, was given a visitors pass, and then waited.

I was soon picked up by the BBC Radio 4 producer for the show, and taken up to meet the other ladies.

Was I nervous?

A bit!

Well, I needn’t have worried. They were a jolly lot!

Phew!

And after introducing ourselves over a few cups of sparkling wine, some cake and biscuits, and a cup of tea, it was time to start.

We went into a smaller studio room that was filled with sofas, armchairs, and cushions so that we had a more relaxing atmosphere. The sound engineer came over and fixed our microphones, and off we went.

We weren’t given the questions previously or prepped, but of course, we were all travel experts, so it was never going to be an issue on what to talk about!

Here we are – professional women who travel – Carolyn Pearson, Lois Pryce, Lauren Laverne, Victoria Ade-Genschow & Rana Rahimpour
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Lauren Laverne – the host – directed the questions to us individually, and then it soon ended into friendly banter, as we began chatting away, laughing, and giggling. In fact, at one point, the Sound Engineer couldn’t hear what I was saying as the microphone kept sliding off my ear!

Something to do with my specs… so I had to take off my glasses and answer some of the questions again!

Here’s the BBC Radio 4 download of our travel and adventure June 2017 programme!

My voice sounded clear and bright. Even if I say so myself!

We were in the studio room for about two (2) hours or so, then we took a couple of fun photographs, and chit-chatted a bit more.

However, we were soon the only people left on the radio station floor, and we really had to go as our cars were waiting for us.

The BBC laid out very nice cars. But not this nice. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Yep!

The BBC laid out very nice cars to take us all back to our individual hotels.

I had an absolutely fabulous time!

Thanks so much BBC Radio 4, Lauren Laverne, the Late Night Woman’s Hour team, my fellow travel experts, and Bild am Sonntag.

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here! 

HOW I WENT ON THE RADIO FOR THE BBC & WAS FEATURED IN GERMANY’S BIGGEST SUNDAY NEWSPAPER!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the thrilling time, I had at the BBC & Bild am Sonntag, are my very own!

In July, I’ll be writing about the awesome time I had in Slovenia, and spending the summer in France and Germany!

From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.

On August 23rd, I’ll be at Gamescom!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin right now, you’re missing out!

Save the Date!

July & August are going to be awesome!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

What do you think of adventure and travel? Should women be out there? Do you like my radio voice? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

12 fantastic festival films you should really watch – Lights! Camera! Action!!!

The film team with Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson & Daniel Brühl. © Berlinale
The film team with Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson & Daniel Brühl.
© Berlinale

Wow!

Tonight is the last day of the Berlin International Film Festival otherwise known as the Berlinale! And what a wonderful time we’ve had!

We have had a long, fantastic fortnight of films, films, and yes more films!

I live in Berlin. Of course, I’ve been to the Berlinale before but never as a press person.

Never as a professional blogger!

Let me tell you.

It was awesome!

Spike Lee. © Berlinale
Spike Lee.
© Berlinale

Berlin has been hobnobbing with the best. If it’s good enough for the likes of the talented Emma Thompson, Spike Lee, Jude Law, Hugh Laurie, and Julianne Moore surely, it’s good enough for you!

In the flurry of excitement and talented art, I managed to watch thirty-two (32) films in just ten (10) days.

Thirty-two!

I admit. It was a little exhausting but some films were long and some weren’t.

Berlin - very British - rbb

I’m a corporate trainer, I’m married and have a young son, so I always have to get smart and creative. During the week, I went to only one movie per day – late night – and then really went crazy over the weekend.

I must be mad!

Here are the films that I watched:

Goat. © Berlinale
Goat.
© Berlinale
  • Xénogénèse.
  • Short Stay.
  • Another City.
  • Six Cents in the Pocket.
  • He Who Eats Children.
  • The Diver – El Buzo.
  • Vintage Print.
  • Siv Sleeps Astray – Siv sover vilse.
  • I Am Sion Sono!!
  • Tokyo Cabbageman K.
  • The Ones Below.
  • The Lovers and the Despot.
The Patriarch - Mahana. © Berlinale
The Patriarch – Mahana.
© Berlinale
  • The Patriarch – Mahana.
  • Dog Days – San Fu Tian.
  • Dust Cloth – Toz bezi.
  • Remainder.
  • Noma – My Perfect Storm.
  • Don’t Call Me Son – Mãe só há uma.
  • Shelley.
  • Europe, She Loves.
  • Road to Istanbul – La Route d’Istanbul.
  • Goat.
In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain. © Berlinale
In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain.
© Berlinale
  • In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain.
  • The Lamps.
  • Personne.
  • End of Season.
  • Batrachian’s Ballad – Balada de um Batráquio
  • Where to Invade Next.
  • United States of Love – Zjednoczone stany miłości.
  • Little Men.
  • Rara.
  • Those Who Jump – Les Sauteurs.
Where to Invade Next. © Berlinale
Where to Invade Next.
© Berlinale

In my opinion, every film was brilliant and none were duds!

So without further ado, here are the 12 films that I recommend, in alphabetical order.

12 FANTASTIC FESTIVAL FILMS YOU SHOULD REALLY WATCH!!!

Berlinale Talent - 12 fantastic festival films you should really watch with meeeee! © Berlinale
Berlinale Talent – 12 fantastic festival films you should really watch with meeeee!
© Berlinale

1. Don’t Call Me Son – Mãe só há uma.

Don't Call Me Son - Mãe só há uma. © Berlinale
Don’t Call Me Son – Mãe só há uma.
© Berlinale

This Brazilian production based on a true story, is a warm, heartfelt emotional film about a teenager who finds out that not only is he adopted, but both he and his younger sister were stolen as children!

His world falls apart.

His mother goes to jail, his sister is taken away to live with the biological parents that she has never met, and he has to live with his “new” biological parents who have no idea that he’s bi-sexual and gender neutral.

The main actor – Naomi Nero – was at the film screening and was quite a lovely shy chap. I even managed to have a shake of the hand and a very quick “hi” chat!

2. Europe, She Loves.

Europe, She Loves. © Berlinale
Europe, She Loves.
© Berlinale

This production is a real-life documentary about four (4) couples set in four (4) European cities – Tallinn (Estonia), Seville (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), and Thessaloniki (Spain).

The film is a close-up insight of how these couples see themselves within the sphere of the European Union, as well as their daily struggles, employment issues, relationships, family, passion, sex and love.

Being that the movie was set and produced in Europe, no holds were barred with ahem. intimate filming… and everything was real!

Gulp!

A most inspiring film!

3. Noma – My Perfect Storm.

Noma - My Perfect Storm. © Berlinale
Noma – My Perfect Storm.
© Berlinale

Wow!

Food porn at it’s best, and a bloody fantastic Nordic film!

This film is a creative journey into the mind of René Redzepi – the brains and creator of Noma – A small organic and naturally sourced restaurant, located in Denmark, Copenhagen.

The production is the story of how he changed the image of Scandinavian food from boring and bland, to the pedigree of the as-of-now trendy Nordic cuisine.  René established a new edible world while radically changing the image of the modern chef.

Follow René’s story as he reigned over the realm of Nordic gourmet cuisine, had a restaurant scandal, clawed his way back to the top, reinvented NOMA, and reclaimed the title of best restaurant in the world in 2014!

For only the fourth time!

In fact, I’m so impressed that I’m going to do my best to visit NOMA in Copenhagen this summer, myself!

4. Remainder.

Remainder. © Berlinale
Remainder.
© Berlinale

This is a British / German production based on the Tom McCarthy’s novel of the same name. This film is about a young man who is hit by a fallen object in a freak accident.

When he awakens from his coma he is given £8.5m in compensation and his memory has disappeared. All that remains is a fragmentary image of a small boy on the top of the staircase, in an old house.

Using his enormous wealth, the young man buys a house and fills it with actors to re-create and play out the scene again, and again, but as scraps of memory return, his demands grow increasingly complicated, risky and weird.

This was the only film throughout the Berlinale film festival that I was able to watch together with The Music Producer. I squeezed my husband’s hand a lot! And I even got a Twitter shout out from the production team of the main British actor – Tom Sturridge!

A clever, brilliant film.

5. Road to Istanbul – La Route d’Istanbul.

Road to Istanbul - La Route d'Istanbul. © Berlinale
Road to Istanbul – La Route d’Istanbul.
© Berlinale

A Belgian film about the journey of a mother whose daughter – Elodie – has disappeared.

In shock, the mother discovers that her daughter has left for Cyprus. Her goal  – Syria!!

Alone, divorced and abandoned by the authorities, she tries to get her daughter back by personally travelling to Turkey, and trying to smuggle herself into a very dangerous, war-zone Syria!

This film is the struggle of a mother who must fight for the daughter she loves.

A wonderful, heart wrenching film!

6. Shelley.

Shelley. © Berlinale
Shelley.
© Berlinale

A lot of people seemed to think that Shelly is a horror film.

It isn’t.

It’s disturbing and harrowing, but you won’t lose any sleep over it.

At least I didn’t!

Based loosely on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the film Shelley is a Danish / Swedish production about a young Romanian woman – Elena – who goes to Denmark to work as a housekeeper.

The house is isolated, and the couple who own the house prefer to live without the use of electricity, and from the fruit of the land.

Shelley. © Berlinale
Shelley.
© Berlinale

The couple – Louise and her husband are unable to have children and a suggestion for Elena to be the surrogate mother, is made. However, instead of a joyous moment, Elena begins to have bizarre hallucinations and unbearable sensations. She also begins to change psychologically and physically….!

Disturbing. Gruesome, but brilliant!

p.s. There’s a baby involved, but I wasn’t scared!

7. Siv Sleeps Astray – Siv sover vilse.

Siv Sleeps Astray - Siv sover vilse. © Berlinale
Siv Sleeps Astray – Siv sover vilse.
© Berlinale

This Swedish production is a film about a child’s exciting adventure. A magical place where anything can happen and badgers can talk and wear red wellies and where rooms get larger and smaller and the vacuum cleaner comes to life!

The film is based on a picture book by Pija Lindenbaum famous for writing stories told from the viewpoint of a child, with the magic and realism of Alice in Wonderland, and a Swedish version of Tim Burton!

I think children the world over would agree, as the theatre was jam-packed with kids and the young actors were marvellous!

A lovely Swedish film!

8. The Lovers and the Despot.

The Lovers and the Despot. © Berlinale
The Lovers and the Despot.
© Berlinale

This British / Korean production is a sensational thriller-romance-documentary that tells the true-life story of a young ambitious South Korean film director – Shin Sang-ok – and his talented actress wife – Choi Eun-hee – who met, and fell in love in post-war Korea of the 1950s.

With a string of awards to their name and two children, they reach the top of Korean society, and it seems that things couldn’t get any better for the golden couple. However, Shin has an affair with a younger actress, the Shin Films company is in financial trouble, and by 1978 the couple are divorced.

Somewhere along the way, Choi is kidnapped by North Korean agents in Hong Kong, and taken to meet Kim Jong-il, the de facto leader of North Korea. A few months later, whilst retracing Choi’s last steps, Shin finds himself kidnapped to North Korea too!

After five years of imprisonment, they are eventually reunited by the brutal but movie-obsessed dictator – Kim Jong-il, who declares them his own personal filmmakers!

The Lovers and the Despot. © Berlinale
The Lovers and the Despot.
© Berlinale

Having rekindled their love for each other, they plan their escape from North Korea, but not before producing 17 feature films for Kim and gaining his trust in the process, so that while on a business trip to Vienna (Austria), Shin and Choi  escape and make a break for the American Embassy.

In return for information on North Korea, they are given asylum in the USA, where a career in Hollywood beckons…

Wow!

You couldn’t make it up.

A fly on the wall pieced-together-documentary, of a political mad man and true love.

You won’t regret it!

9. The Ones Below.

The Ones Below. © Berlinale
The Ones Below.
© Berlinale

This British production is a dark, modern fairy tale in which the lives of two couples become fatally intertwined. Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) live in the upstairs flat of a London house. Thirty-something, successful and affluent, they are expecting their first baby.

All appears well on the surface although Kate, like any first-time mother, harbours deep-rooted fears about her fitness to be a mother and her ability to love her child.

Another couple, Jon (David Morrissey) and Theresa (Laura Birn), move into the empty apartment below. They are also expecting a baby and, in stark contrast to Kate, Theresa is full of joy at the prospect of imminent motherhood.

The Ones Below. © Berlinale
The Ones Below.
© Berlinale

Pregnancy brings the two women together in a blossoming friendship as Kate becomes entranced by Theresa’s unquestioning celebration of her family-to-be.

But everything changes one night at a dinner party and a tragic accident throws Kate and Justin into a living nightmare and a reign of psychological terror begins…..!

A fantastic film.

If you find it, watch it!!

10. Those Who Jump – Les Sauteurs.

Those Who Jump - Les Sauteurs. © Berlinale
Those Who Jump – Les Sauteurs.
© Berlinale

This Danish / Mali / French production is a documentary-experiment where the protagonist becomes the documentary filmmaker. Shot entirely by a migrant from Mali – Abou Sidibé – it’s a true-life story and the film transforms you – the viewer – into Abou on the top of a mountain region (Mount Gurugú) in Morocco, that effectively is categorised as Spain.

In short, a part of Europe in Africa.

Over a thousand hopeful African migrants live on Mount Gurugú watching the land border – a fence system separating Morocco and Spain – on one of the world’s most militarized frontiers.

Abou from Mali is one of the migrants and is also the protagonist in front of the camera, as well as the person behind it. For 16 months, he has ceaselessly persisted in attempting to jump the fence.

At the fence are rough razor-wires, automatic pepper spray and brutal authorities.

Those Who Jump - Les Sauteurs. © Berlinale
Those Who Jump – Les Sauteurs.
© Berlinale

After every failed attempt, the men return to Mount Gurugú scouring for food in the nearby villages, trying to uphold some sort of order in the camp, and building up their confidence again. Some give up and return home, whilst others never return from the fence.

Looking through the lens, Abou gradually finds expression and meaning in his situation but after 16 months on the mountain, Abou is brought close to death and a tragic accident. Returning to Mali is not an option for him, and he becomes ever more determined to pursue his dream of a better life in Europe. And for Abou, the inequality that defines our times is a simple fact.

This film is a harrowing, distressing film filled with abject hope. To watch the film is to be immersed in the Kafkaesque nightmare of migration.

A masterpiece of empathy and moral imagination.

Go see for yourself.

11. United States of Love – Zjednoczone stany miłości.

United States of Love - Zjednoczone stany miłości. © Berlinale
United States of Love – Zjednoczone stany miłości.
© Berlinale

This Polish production is set in the Poland of 1990 – the first euphoric year of freedom after the Fall of the Berlin Wall – and as a result, uncertainty of the future.

Four apparently happy women of different ages, decide it’s time to change their lives, fight for their happiness, and fulfill their desires.

Agata is a young mother trapped in an unhappy marriage, who seeks refuge in an impossible relationship. Renata is an older teacher fascinated with her neighbour Marzena. Marzena is a lonely former local beauty queen whose husband works in Germany. Marzena’s sister – Iza – is the Director of the local school and having an affair with the father of one of her students.

United States of Love - Zjednoczone stany miłości. © Berlinale
United States of Love – Zjednoczone stany miłości.
© Berlinale

It’s a bare-all film with stark, almost black and white photography, scenes of the former-Eastern Bloc, smoking, frontal nudity, and sexual stimulation!

I can’t decide if the nudity or the constant smoking offended me more, as I was watching the film at 09:30 in the morning!

Honestly speaking, I think the thing that shocked me most was the smoking at the dinner table and in every conversation!

Highly recommended all the same!

And finally, of course,

12. Tokyo Cabbageman K!

Tokyo Cabbageman K! © Berlinale
Tokyo Cabbageman K!
© Berlinale

A weird film about a Japanese man running around with a cabbage on his head!

Seriously though, this Japanese production is derived from Akira Ogata’s cult film – TOKYO CABBAGEMAN K – in which a young man named K wakes up one morning and discovers that his head has been replaced by a huge Chinese cabbage!

If you’re going to mutate into something, wonders a friend, why a cabbage head and not a vampire?

K’s new appearance quickly turns him into a Japanese media star and sex object. Bizarrely being a celebrity proves too much so he plants himself into a cabbage patch!

What can I say?!

Quirky!

Retrospective Der junge Törless (Young Törless). © Berlinale
Retrospective Der junge Törless (Young Törless).
© Berlinale

In watching a festival film, you get to see a large variety of international locations and settings, and a better intimate view with acting and scenes that are are much more realistic than in films with a Hollywood budget!

The Berlin International Film Festival otherwise known as the Berlinale, is a special treat for the public.

See you next year!

Berlinale Talents - Berlin International Film Festival. © Berlinale
Berlinale Talents – Berlin International Film Festival.
© Berlinale

This article is not sponsored and even though I received complimentary tickets, all opinions and the amazing festival films that I saw, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Cinestar Original will be showing William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” on 25.02.2016, presented by the National Theatre LIVE!

In March, I’ll be travelling to England, Spain & Portugal!

February is wet and lovely!

Me!
Me!

Which of these awesome films would you choose?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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