How is Cate Blanchett personally?

Hollywood star at Berlinale : Cate Blanchett: "Having hope is one of the bravest things you can do"

“Stateless”, two episodes: February 26, 9:30 pm (Zoo Palast 1), March 1, 7:30 pm (Zoo Palast 2); "Nardjes A.": February 27th, 2pm (CinemaxX 6), March 1st, 4.15pm (Cubix 7)

Halfway through the event, the young man in the audience has too much harmony. “Can we still afford hope?” He asks the participants in the so-called table talk. That is something passive, and it is ultimately a matter of acting. He is not yet at the end of his remarks when Cate Blanchett can no longer contain himself. "Having hope in the face of despair is one of the most active and courageous things one can do," says the actress, who has been involved with the United Nations refugee agency since 2014.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, the HAU deals with the big issues. “Places like Home” is the title of the event organized by the Berlinale Talents initiative. Four guests discuss experiences of uprooting, what it feels like to belong to a collective and to a place that can be called home.

Blanchett is the most famous of the group. The audience in the packed hall cheers exuberantly when the Australian takes the podium. This time she didn't come primarily as an actress, but as the creator and co-producer of the series “Stateless”, which runs in the Berlinale Series section. It's about a detention center for refugees in the Australian desert. It's about "what it does to a culture when we treat people inhumanely," as Blanchett says.

You can see them demonstrating, crying, dancing

At your side at the oval wooden table, which the moderator and talent manager Florian Weghorn calls the “kitchen table”, there are three other guests. The Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz (“The Longing of the Gusmão Sisters”), for example, who reports on his most recent work in Algeria. There, in the capital Algiers, his panorama documentary "Nardjes A." was created. Actually, the son of an Algerian wanted to make a different, more personal film. Then the mass protests against abuse of power and corruption in the government intervened, and Ainouz felt that he had to film this uprising. “I was kidnapped, so to speak, by the developments,” he explains.

He found his protagonist, Nardjes Asli, in a café. The director became aware of her through an agency for comedians that she represents. Asli, a young woman with short black hair and a rough voice, is sitting at the table in the HAU and reports on their first meeting. She just worked as a waitress and didn't know who Ainouz was. “After an hour and a half he said to me: We're making a film. Would you like to play? ”Her answer:“ Sure ”.

Two days later, on March 8, 2019, they shot. 24 hours in the life of Nardjes Asli. You can see them demonstrating, crying, dancing. The activist says she has her own image of Algeria, a country that does not exclude anyone. "Karim was able to depict this world and expand it."

Part of those millions whose stories are not being heard

Maryam Zaree, the fourth participant in the round, also saw the film. She liked how he showed the power of the collective while highlighting the worth of the individual. The actress, known as a coroner from the Berlin “Tatort”, is this year as a member of the ensemble of Christian Petzold's “Undine” at the Berlinale. But she takes part in the table talk on the occasion of her directorial debut “Born in Evin”, which was shown in Panorama in 2019.

Zaree was born in 1983 in an Iranian prison for political prisoners. Two years later, after their mother was released, they both fled to Germany. In “Born in Evin” she goes back to Iran, looking for clues. “But the personal is only the starting point,” she says. "It was more about how the consequences of acts of violence are passed on from generation to generation."

The director, who organized a memorial campaign for the victims of Hanau at the festival opening with other guests, sees her documentary as a German film. “I see myself as part of this land,” explains Maryam Zaree. However, she also feels that she is part of those millions whose story is not heard. “I wanted to tell a story like that,” she says.

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