A Traveler's Needs

Source: Jeonwonsa Film Co.

‘A Traveler’s Needs’

Hong Sangsoo’s A Traveler’s Needs and Mati Diop’s Dahomey earned strong average scores on Screen’s Berlin jury grid, while Bruno Dumont’s The Empire divided critics.

A Traveler’s Needs stars Isabelle Huppert as a French woman teaching in Korea and is currently on an average of 2.9, with one score still to come (from Paolo Bertolin from cinematografo.it). Screen’s own critic awarded it four stars (excellent), while three critics gave it three stars (good) and three gave it two (average).

Berlin jury grid Feb 20

Click on the jury grid above for the most up-to-date version.

The score is currently slighter higher than Sangsoo’s last appearance on the jury grid in 2021 with The Woman Who Ran earning 2.7, but behind 2017’s On The Beach At Night Alone which scored 3.

Also scoring well was Diop’s documentary Dahomey about the repatriation of Benin’s stolen royal treasures which was awarded an average of 2.7, including one four from Rita Di Santo (UK’s Morning Star). The rest of the scores comprised mostly threes (good) while Nicodemus gave it two and Egypt’s Ahmed Shawkey (filfan.com) awarded it just one (poor).

Matthias Glasner’s, three-hour melodrama Dying received a strong 2.8 overall. Scores for the film, surrounding estranged family members reconnecting, comprised mostly two and three stars while Shawkey gave the film a four.

Diving the critics was Dumont’s French sci-fi The Empire which landed on the grid with a 1.8 average. Nicodemus and Dolin gave the film four,  Di Santo a two, while the rest of the critics awarded it just one. It is down on Dumont’s 2016 Cannes title Slack Bay which scored 2.1 on that festival’s jury grid. 

Victor Kossakovsky’s documentary Architecton, exploring the history of concrete and stone, scored 2.3 overall. Dolin awarded the film a four whilst Bertolin gave it one. It is Kossakovsky’s second appearance at Berlin, following his 2020 doc Gunda which played Encounters.

Also averaging 2.3 was Claire Burger’s coming-of-age drama Langue Etrangere (Foreign Language). The Franco-German title, about two penpals navigating an in-person relationship, was met with mostly twos while Shawky and Di Santo gave it three.

Iranian tragicomedy My Favourite Cake remains top of the jury grid on a yet-to-be-beaten 3.1. Landing next is Pepe from Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias and The Devil’s Bath from Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz.

For the first time this year, the Berlin jury grid is updating live on Screendaily.com.