Big freeze

Berlinale Reaches for the Stars

Nobody wants the night Berlinale 2
The characters reach their limits.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The opening film for the Berlinale is the first time the story of the North Pole has been told from a woman’s point of view.

  • Facts


    • Berlin’s 65th annual film festival opened Thursday and will show 441 films in ten days.
    • The festival shows 19 films in a competition section plus further films in sections featuring documentaries, a retrospective, children’s films and shorts.
    • The Berlinale is one of three major European film festivals along with Cannes and Venice.
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The opening movie of the Berlinale film festival, the Arctic drama “Nobody Wants the Night,” tells a bleak tale of people fighting to master nature – and losing the battle.

It is a tale of a woman who loves an explorer who prefers the frozen wastelands to home life and is obsessed with finding the North Pole. She pursues him into the icy desolation of Greenland, where she finds another person who loves him – an Inuit who is expecting his child.

It is the beginning of a journey – beyond the geographical kind.

Josephine Peary, the character played by Juliette Binoche, said discovery is the greatest glory of mankind.

It makes no sense to the Inuit woman. “Why would you go somewhere else if you already have everything?” she said.

The film plots the limits of discovery, of possession and ownership and explores the nature of love. Chewing on raw seal and burning her furniture in the struggle to survive, Ms. Peary is forced to abandon all she holds dear.

Her character in the film said, “If you go on a journey, you have to be prepared for what happens.” It applied to the filming too, it seemed.

“You want the real truth? It was too damn hot sitting there in all my furs,” Ms. Binoche said. She prepared for the scenes shot in warmer climes by stepping into a meat fridge on location.


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