The Berlin International Film Festival was back in town.   It was started in 1951 in West Berlin, and is now considered one of the major international film festivals.   The programme is extensive and securing a ticket can be unnecessarily complicated.

I saw a film called Zhaleika, set in a remote town in Bulgaria.   The film was produced by Berlin and Bulgarian based artists and producers.   The highlight was having the actors, producer, director and cinematographer at the screening.  There were kind enough to participate in a Question & Answer session with the audience.   This really made this event more than just going to a cinema to see a film.

Zhaleika

The film, well it was about a young woman who does not feel connected to her life in a remote Bulgarian village.  Who searches for more, and then eventually leaves home in search of something more.   The film exposes the traditional views that you will find in a rural village, the expectations of others, and the life challenges of finding your who you are.  The cast are not seasoned professionals, and this factor alone made the film unique.  It was not polished, and hence much more interesting than a Hollywood blockbuster.

The photos are from the Berlinale and copyright is with the relevant holders.

More information on the Berlinale.