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2017 LUX Film Days in Berlin

Two of the three finalist movies of the European Parliament’s LUX Prize were screened in Berlin

November 20th, 2017
Charline Munzer, News from Berlin

The movies Sami Blood and Western were shown in the cinema Babylon as part of the LUX Film Days. Similar screenings are taking place all over Europe in preparation for the final vote in the European Parliament on 14 November.

Elle Marja, a young girl and her sister, both from the Sámi community, are leaving their mother and their reindeers to spend several months in a Swedish boarding school dedicated to Sámi children. Being exposed to the racism and race biology examinations, she starts dreaming of a different life. As she wishes to study further, she is facing a terrible dilemma: renouncing her dream in order to stay with her family or being obliged to erase her identity to integrate the Swedish society.

Amanda Kernell’s Sami Blood takes us back to a period of discrimination and validation of race for minorities. This story draws the attention to an unknown part of history but finds resonance in the current situation of Europe, as integration and respect of different cultures are important issues.

This first screening was followed by a discussion between Sabine Verheyen, member of the European Parliament (Committee on Culture and Education), Ronja Tammenpää from the project 28 Times Cinema and Peter Paul Huth, former jury of the LUX Prize and film critic. They underlined the scope of the competition: showing European stories to Europeans. The difficult condition of the heroin of Sami Blood was stressed as MEP Sabine Verheyen deplored the necessity of being forced to choose between two identities instead of combining them. She called on remembering the “wonderful European motto: United in diversity”.

Such a story brings the public to reflect on how to achieve a peaceful and respectful cohabitation between different cultures without stigmatizing minorities. It raises the question of how to deal with such issues as individual as much as from the institutional side, being the European Union or the State. This event was therefore very relevant in the current global debate about cultural differences and immigration. This stays in line with the objective of the LUX Prize, “[which] will put the focus on topics inherent to the European identity, willing to build bridges and create debates”*.

The movie Western, by the German director Valeska Grisebach, was also shown following a short reception. Its address of economic migration, and again integration, showed a group of German men working on a construction site in the Bulgarian border region with Greece.

The last finalist movie, the French BPM (Beats Per Minute) directed by Robin Campillo will be available in German cinemas from 30 November on.


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