x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Berlinale diary: Angelina Jolie's directorial debut

Angelina Jolie's The Land of Blood and Honey receives a mixed response and Iron Sky, a Finnish sci-fi comedy, about a nazi secret moon base is highly anticipated.

In The Land of Blood and Honey may have been met with largely average reviews, but that didn't stop hundreds from attempting to squeeze into a packed press conference to hear Angelina Jolie talk about her directorial debut. The screening of the film in Berlin received a mixed response, with applause but also some boos, with its excessive portrayal of the atrocities committed during the Balkan war considered heavy handed and one-sided. Speaking at the press conference, Jolie stressed that the film was "not a documentary" but an "artistic interpretation".

Space Nazis

While the Berlinale might be regarded as one of the "artier" major film festivals, with an extensive documentary section and heavy focus on political issues, one of the most hotly anticipated films this year is nothing of the sort. According to the trailer for Iron Sky, a Finnish sci-fi comedy, in 1945 the Nazis set up a secret base on the moon, and in 2018 they decide to return. Space Nazis - what's not to love? "The battle of Earth is going to get Nazi" goes the tagline. We can't wait.

Star's new 'mission'

There was a UAE connection in the Berlinale's opening film. Benoît Jacquot's historical drama Farewell My Queen sees Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette in the lead up to the French Revolution and her famous one-to-one with a guillotine. Nothing Emirati-sounding too far, but the film also stars the French actress Lea Seydoux, last seen being kicked out of an open window of the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. We guess she survived the fall.