A Statement on the 74th Berlinale

We, the editors of Ultra Dogme, would like to reiterate our support for the Strike Germany campaign, and the boycott of Berlinale and its associated events in protest against Germany’s political and financial support of Israel’s genocide in Gaza and ongoing criminalisation of Palestinian culture, identity and solidarity. We encourage all filmmakers, critics, editors, programmers and artworkers to join us in this boycott and in condemning Germany’s support of the mass slaughter and subjugation of the Palestinian people, as well as the systematic efforts to silence those who speak out against these atrocities.

We often hear about the power of cinema. At the 74th Berlinale, the stronger power seems to be that of denial: denial that there is a genocide happening, denial that Germany’s fascism is a living, active force, and denial of the Berlinale’s own supposed past ideals of justice, equality and political efficacy through moving images. 

The German state not only backs Israel in the political and legal spheres, but also through military aid. It was reported on the 8th of November that German military exports to Israel had increased 10-fold since the beginning of the genocide. Berlinale, through its funding and partnerships (including one third of its budget sourced from the state, as well as significant financial contributions from the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Israeli Film Council to fund the European Film Market), is deeply embedded in these state, corporate and colonial systems. We would then encourage those attending the festival to weigh up whether the social and career advancements that attending Berlinale may or may not bring are worth being a cog in a system which is not only making cinema an increasingly hierarchal and stifling medium, but also dependant on a globalised system of entrenched oppression and hierarchy, ecological destruction and mass slaughter of human beings, of which the ongoing genocide in Palestine is a revealing flashpoint.

It is critical for us not only to think out new alternatives but to live them, not only in politics but in art and film culture too. We must decentralize our practices, turn our backs to institutions that rely on corrupt money and corrosive power structures, and remind ourselves that there have been filmmakers and writers who have found ways to flourish without subscribing to corporate modes of distribution and exhibition. We should instead grow our own communities, local festivals and collectives, and constructive forms of solidarity. Prioritizing our principles over prestige, putting those principles into action and doing so en-masse is the most effective way to strip institutions like Berlinale of their power and to point the way towards liberation, for Palestinians and for all oppressed people.

Ceasefire now. End the occupation. Free Palestine.

with special thanks to C for being in front of the camera

One thought on “A Statement on the 74th Berlinale

  1. EXCELLENT choice. Everyone needs to participate in resisting Right wing fascist movements, especially when they’re hiding their true identity behind a democracy as Isreal is currently doing.

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