French Documentary Wins Golden Bear Of Berlinale 2023
Documentary genre is living its Renaissance. Following the the Golden Lion at Venice for Laura Poitras’ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, the Golden Bear of Berlinale 2023 was awarded to the only documentary in the Competition - French veteran docmaker Nicolas Philibert’s On The Adamant (Sur l'Adamant).
The film is the observational study of the Adamant, a Paris mental health care facility, which "welcomes adults suffering from mental disorders, offering the kind of care that grounds them in time and space and helps them to recover or keep up their spirits." “Are you crazy or what?” - this was Philibert's reaction to the winning announcement towards the jury chaired this year by a famous actress Kristen Stuart. He also warned the audience that “the craziest people are not those we think they are.”
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to the German director Christian Petzold for his second film in the trilogy, which began in 2020 with Udine. Afire (Roter Himmel) is "about not being able to sleep and wanting to love; about writing and being read; about being in the world and yet possibly allowing life to slip by."
Silver Bear for Best Director was handed to the veteran French New Wave director Philippe Garrel for his tender and romantic family-centered piece The Plough (Le Grand Chariot).
Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance was awarded to only nine-year-old Spanish actress Sofia Otero for her performance in Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren's gentle drama 20,000 Species of Bees (20,000 Especies de Abejas), meanwhile German transgender performer Thea Ehre received Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance in Christoph Hochhäusler's Till The End of The Night (Bis Ans Ende Der Nacht).
Full list of winners:
Golden Bear for Best Film: On the Adamant, Nicolas Philibert
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: Afire, Christian Petzold
Silver Bear Jury Prize: Bad Living, João Canijo
Silver Bear for Best Director: The Plough, Philippe Garrel
Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance: 20,000 Species of Bees, Sofia Otero
Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance: Till the End of the Night, Thea Ehre
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay: Music, Angela Schanelec
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution: Disco Boy, Hélène Louvart, cinematography