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The Years of the Berlin Film Festival
Posted February 11, 2010 to photo album "The Years of the Berlin Film Festival"
The Berlinale turns 60 this year. What a strange journey it’s been.
Slide 7: 1971 - Starting All Over Again
From Rosa von Praunheim's It is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives.
On the brink of its 20 anniversary, the Berlin Festival nearly imploded. In 1970, the inclusion of Michael Verhoeven’s political drama o.k turned the Jury inside out. Even though the tough drama about a woman raped and murdered by a group of soldiers took place in Europe, critics understood it alluded to a real life case in Vietnam. The jury, lead by American director George Stevens, attempted to “neutralize” the film by asking the selection committee to reconsider it. As a result, the jury was dismissed, the festival came to a halt and no awards were presented. Berlin attempted to heal this rift in 1971 by adding the International Forum for New Cinema (or what would become known as the Forum). Originally conceived as a counter festival, Berlin absorbed it, giving it the decree to “publicize and support progressive and avant-garde developments in film from around the world.” In addition to political and formally challenging work, the Forum took on presenting gay work with its inclusion of Rosa von Praunheim’s It is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives. The competition, on the other hand, awarded the Golden Bear to the WW II Italian drama The Garden of the Finzi Contini.