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by Pierre-François Sauter
Le Laboratoire Central: Nadejda Magnenat
Terratreme: João Matos
Qoomoon: Luciano Barisone and Luca Scarabelli
Delicate and sharp as always, Pierre-François Sauter was about to point his camera at the daily lives of two childhood friends who fish for shell and eel, whom he befriended in his regular visits to the village in Cape Verde over the past seven years.
– Julian Ross, Selection Committee
With Germany, Year Zero Roberto Rossellini chooses to show the damage caused by Nazism. And he does so with great ambition: shooting this film in 1947 in the real settings of ruined Berlin, two years after the end of the war. This film is not without flaws, in certain aspects it is dated, but it is a film that impressed me by the economy of its narration and by the strength of the quasi-documentary sequences shot in apocalyptic settings, which echo his point. Against this ruinous background, which evoke the violence and horror of war, Rossellini films a world that has suffered total destruction, both materially and morally. He shows the annihilation of all values caused by Nazism. He chooses to film on the side of those who took part in Nazism and were defeated. He shows his characters as lost people, victims of their own blindness and of issues that are beyond them. Rossellini films the journey of Edmund, a twelve-year-old boy who tries to find his way in a world where profit and selfishness are the only things that matter. Germany Year Zero is a radical and tough film that leaves no one untouched. This film continues to resonate with me, seemingly still retaining all its relevance today, as if to remind us that ideological drifts that lead to horror are always possible.
– Pierre-François Sauter