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Film

Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick: 'Trump is more overrated than Meryl Streep'

The director of Berlin's largest film festival, Dieter Kosslick, discusses with DW how science-fiction and politics sometimes meet. He also reveals the event he's most looking forward to.

A lot has happened around the world since the last festival - including last year's jury president Meryl Streep being called the "most overrated actress in Hollywood" by the new US president. Does the program reflect new political realities?

Dieter Kossslick: First of all, I'd say it's rather the most overrated president in history and not the most overrated actress - but that's another story…

Yes, we have a lot of films reflecting today's world, such as exploitation in Africa, or colonialism, which still happens in the Antarctic. There are films about Brazil, where big companies - called "investors" - are now exploiting the country.

So we have all these films dealing with developments that have been taking place over the last few years. Of course filmmakers have been tackling these topics. And now there's more focus on such issues, with the arrival of a new president who's in favor of the old world, of so-called fossil capitalism.

Biopics play a big role this year...

The opening film is a musical biopic on Django Reinhardt, one of the world's most famous gypsy and swing guitarists.

Film still The Young Karl Marx (Kris Dewitte )

The young Karl Marx (right), hanging out with Friedrich Engels

We also have a biopic on the famous Swiss artist Giacometti, portrayed by Geoffrey Rush in an incredible performance and directed by Stanley Tucci.

And we have "The Young Karl Marx," directed by Raoul Peck. He describes Marx as a young, wonderful guy stumbling around today's Soho, having some drinks with his friend Engels and thinking about Manchester's capitalism and writing the big book, "Das Kapital."

The film is right on time, because even newspapers like "Die Zeit" in Germany just wrote: "Was Karl Marx right?" Yes, Karl Marx was right. The capitalist system didn't make the poor people rich; it only makes the rich people richer. The communist system unfortunately didn't work either - but Marx had foreseen the whole thing.

One of the things I most look forward to every year is the Berlinale looking back. This year's retrospective is called "Future Imperfect. Science - Fiction - Film," and offers mostly bleak visions of the future.

Looking back allows us to see the future or to see the reality we are living in: This is interesting because someone who just took the time and only saw these films during the Berlinale would also recognize today's reality, because science-fiction filmmakers had fantasies which, unfortunately, in some cases, are now realities.

What are you personally most looking forward to?

As every year, I'm looking forward to the opening night. With 3,500 people sitting there watching a film. I hope they'll like it!

  

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