Berlin Festival workers protest. Photo: berlinale.workers.voice

The Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale), which took place between the 15th and 25th of February, was marked by the denunciation of the genocide in Gaza, Palestine, promoted by the Israeli far right.

According to international news agencies, calls for a ceasefire were expressed in the speeches of the winners who took to the stage, as well as in the interventions of judges and artists during the festival.

Palestinian documentary filmmaker Basel Adra, winner with other directors with “No Other Land”, which portrays the destruction of his people’s villages in the West Bank, called for the massacre to be stopped and for countries like Germany to stop selling weapons to Israel.

Read too: In Rio, Lula classifies the conflict in Gaza as genocide and defends the Palestinian State

Ben Russell, winner of the Encounters Exhibition for the documentary “Direct Action”, made with Guillaume Cailleau and which portrays the routine of French activists, wore a keffiyeh (a scarf that became a symbol of the Palestinian struggle) at the award ceremony.

The far right was also the target of criticism during the Berlinale. Previously invited like all elected parties, the members of Alternative for Germany were disinvited from the opening of the festival by the organization after a request made in a letter signed by hundreds of film professionals.

The “disinvitation” occurred after revelations that the party has been working on solutions for the mass deportation of immigrants, in addition to having maintained contact with neo-Nazis.

Workers at the Berlin Festival also published an open letter (accessed here), with a link for signature and on Instagram, in which they call for a ceasefire and an end to the genocide in Palestine, calling for a firm position from the Berlinale due to its position of relevance in the cultural panorama.

“We join a global solidarity movement to demand an immediate ceasefire and call for the release of all hostages,” the document states.

During the event, debates on the conflict in the Middle East were held for those interested, in a TinyHouse installation (minimalist house).


Berlin’s firm stance against Israel’s attacks has had repercussions.

According to the agency AFP, German authorities want to investigate the speeches given at the Festival due to unfounded links with “anti-Semitism”. In other words, the accusation of genocide carried out by the far-right Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made in Berlin, generated discomfort, as did the accurate statements made by President Lula.

As reported by the agency, the spokeswoman for the German government, Christiane Hoffmann, and the head of the government, Olaf Scholz, consider that the position adopted by the festival was unilateral and did not explain the reasons that led to the conflict (the Hamas attack on 7 of October).

The situation raises the alarm for organizers regarding possible reprisals, since the German government is the main financier of the event. For local newspapers, the festival management declared that the opinions given by the artists are personal and independent.

Golden Bear

In the event’s main awards, French-Senegalese director Mati Diop won the “Golden Bear” for the documentary “Dahomey”, which portrays the return to Benin of 26 works looted by the French during colonial times.

Another highlight goes to Brazilian Juliana Rojas, who won the award for best direction at the Encontros (Encounters) exhibition with the film “Cidade; Campo”, in which stories about rural and urban migration are told.


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