Berlin critics picks

Source: Jeonwonsa Film Co. / Berlin International Film Festival

[Clockwise from top left] ‘A Traveler’s Needs’, ‘Pepe’, ‘My Favourite Cake’, ‘Dahomey’

There are prize winners, audience favourites, and critical raves at every festival and the Berlinale 2024 is no different. We know who has won and what has been picked up by eager arthouse distributors - but what did the critics really love?

Here are the best-reviewed titles from Berlin 2024 after Screen’s team of critics provided the most comprehensive coverage from the festival.

Architecton (Competition)
Dir. Victor Kossakovsky
Screen’s critic said: “Even before the opening credits have finished rolling, this exploration of concrete and stone in a throwaway society impresses.”
Read the review  

All Shall Be Well (Panorama)
Dir. Ray Yeung
Screen’s critic said: “The strong character sketches across a multi-generational family and the flavour of real Hong Kong should also see All Shall Be Well into play in Asia, particularly Singapore and Japan.”
Read the review  

At Averroes & Rosa Parks (Berlinale Special)
Dir. Nicolas Philibert
Screen’s critic said: “The second in a projected trilogy following last year’s Golden Bear, On The Adamant is an extremely accomplished and compelling work.”
Read the review  

Crossing (Panorama)
Dir. Levan Akin
Screen’s critic said: “This fourth feature from Akin opened the Panorama sidebar with a visual elegance and an eloquent vision of acceptance.”
Read the review  

Cuckoo (Special)
Dir. Tilman Singer
Screen’s critic said: “Hunter Schafer impresses in this ’entertainingly-deranged’ horror set in the Bavarian Alps.
Read the review

Dahomey (Competition)
Dir. Mati Diop
Screen’s critic said: “The repatriation of stolen treasures to Benin provokes this agile, cerebral documentary - winner of this year’s Golden Bear.”
Read the review

The Devil’s Bath (Competition)
Dir. Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Screen’s critic said: “An assured, grimly compelling drama from the directors of Goodnight Mommy (2014).
Read the review  

Dying (Competition)
Dir. Matthias Glasner
Screen’s critic said: “A surprising, shape-shifting modern melodrama held aloft by a string of fine performances.”
Read the review  

From Hilde, With Love (Competition)
Dir. Andreas Dresen
Screen’s critic said: “Babylon Berlin star Liv Lisa Fries gives a compelling performance in this powerhouse biopic about German resistance fighter Hilde Coppi.”
Read the review  

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger (Special)
Dir. David Hinton
Screen’s critic said: “The opportunity to have narrator Martin Scorsese walk the viewer through their work and his history with it is not to be missed.”
Read the review

Meanwhile On Earth (Panorama)
Dir. Jeremy Clapin
Screen’s critic said: “Clapin follows I Lost My Body with this atmospheric live-action French sci-fi.”
Read the review  

'Memories Of A Burning Body'

Source: Ventana Sur

‘Memories Of A Burning Body’

Memories Of A Burning Body (Panorama)
Dir. Antonella Sudasassi Furniss
Screen’s critic said: “Berlin’s Panorama Audience Award winner is a heartfelt exploration of female sexuality in older age.”
Read the review  

My Favourite Cake (Competition)
Dir. Maryam Moghaddam, Behtash Sanaeeha
Screen’s critic said: “This rich, frequently hilarious tragicomedy tackles the obstacles facing Iranian women when taking control of their destiny.”
Read the review  

No Other Land (Panorama Documentary)
Dir. Basel Adra, Hamdan Ballal, Yuval Abraham, Rachel Szor
Screen’s critic said: “This reportage by a Palestinian-Israeli collective offers an insider view of a West Bank community resisting a programme of demolition by the Israeli army.”
Read the review  

Pepe (Competition)
Dir. Nelson Carlos De Los Santos Arias
Screen’s critic said: “This sad story of one of Pablo Escobar’s ‘Cocaine Hippos’ – Pepe, the film’s posthumous narrator… is a wildly original work.”
Read the review  

Small Things Like These (Competition)
Dir. Tim Mielants
Screen’s critic said: “Cillian Murphy’s performance, Mielants’s controlled direction and subtle emotional heft combine to make this low-key adaption of Claire Keegan’s 2021 novella very much a proposition to be reckoned with.”
Read the review  

Sleep With Your Eyes Open (Encounters)
Dir. Nele Wohlatz
Screen’s critic said: “Wohlatz’s first feature since The Future Perfect (winner of best first feature at Locarno in 2016) is an exploration of exile, absence and loneliness infused with a wistful longing for a place called home.”
Read the review  

A Traveler’s Needs (Competition)
Dir. Hong Sangsoo
Screen’s critic said: “Isabelle Huppert’s third collaboration with Hong Sangsoo is one of his more enigmatic and alluring works.”
Read the review  

Who Do I Belong To (Competition)
Dir. Meryam Joobeur
Screen’s critic said: “In adapting her Oscar-nominated 2018 short Brotherhood to feature length, Tunisia-born, Canada-based writer/director Meryam Joobeur puts a magical realist spin on this politically-charged domestic drama.”
Read the review