A lot to digest at the Berlinale film festival
The 59th incarnation of the Berlinale film festival was the usual teeming salmagundi of preening celebs, caterwauling paparazzi and geekily bespectacled industry hangers-on conspicuously toting red Berlinale swag bags. But in Kulinarisches Kino, a little adjunct to the festival, a lineup of nine food-themed films took on the mission of exploring the increasing disconnect between ourselves and the source of our food.
The sold-out European premiere of “Food, Inc.,” directed by Los Angeles’ Robert Kenner, opened the sub-program in a 1,895-seat amphitheater that made the graphic, secretly shot scenes in stockyards and poultry packing plants reverberate all the more. (The film will be released stateside in June.)
After the movie, a panel discussion brought together pithy journalists Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser (who appear in the movie); passionately gesticulating Slow Food Movement founder Carlo Petrini; a surprisingly informed Gael García Bernal, the Mexican actor; and assorted German food spokespeople such as former agricultural minister Renate Künast, an organic farmer and a muted, pitiable executive of agribusiness giant Syngenta, who squirmed as the panelists lambasted his role....
Photo: Actress Michelle Pfeiffer walks the red carpet. Credit: Eckehard Schulz / Associated Press