Scruffy children with dirty faces. Boys chucking rugby balls at a mentally challenged girl. Playgrounds overgrown with weeds. Infused with a singular poetic beauty, Daniel Joseph Borgman's The Weight of Elephants captures childhood at its loneliest.
Joshua Oppenheimer's widely acclaimed, Danish-produced The Act of Killing draws its power from the director's daring choice of perspective. Rather than make a film about the victims of Indonesia's 1965-66 genocide, he chose to make a film about the winners: powerful men who are motivated by pride and vanity to reenact their "heroic" deeds for the cameras.
Nicolás Pereda of Mexico and Jacob Schulsinger of Denmark met in the DOX:LAB talent programme and made "Killing Strangers" together, a story of three young men who try, and fail, to join the Mexican revolution in 1910 and get lost in the desert north of Mexico. The film is screening in the Berlinale Forum.
Having sent a poor young man into a tailspin among hardened criminals in his prison movie "R", Michael Noer is back with a new film about youthful restlessness and manhood. "Northwest" is a film with no filling in or explaining. It's "pure film, pure energy," the director says.
"The Shooter" is Annette K. Olesen's first shot at a political thriller. The director is mostly known for her emotional dramas – some have even won awards in Berlin. But the TV series "Borgen" taught her a lot about working with a political plot and she now gives the genre a workout in a new film that reminds us how fragile democracy really is.