Film Review: Berlinale 2022 Bees Pick of the Best

So this years Berlinale Bear dared to roar again! As the first major film fest to go full “in person” in these pandemic times, the festival directors Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek took a risk and it paid off. At 50% capacity most screenings were sold out and the film buzz, while subdued, entered the city again. We even had film makers come to the screenings and staying for Q&As – just like old times.

Everything was well organized so kudos to the organisers for showing 256 films with a live audience without big problems.

And on a more shallow note – the merchandising has never been better/cuter. Who wouldn’t want a bear sleep mask? (

Berlinale 2022 Merchandise Bear Sleep Mask. Perfect for in between screenings…

Now to the films! As I have stated many times before, my favourite part of the festival is the GENERATION section. The films are usually great, the film makers endearing and the audience a blast. And once again of my top 3, two were from this specific section. 

Rookies (or Allons Enfants)

A French documentary about pupils from a special academy who are being coached to scholarly success through a break dance programme. “If you don’t do well in school, you don’t dance” seems to be brilliant way of roping these youngsters in. Combined with compassionate teachers who are there for them all the way with one-on-one coaching and conversations on what THEY want from the school, one can only hope for other schools to adapt this method. This documentary is exceptionally well made, with great camera work during the dance scenes, a pulsating score and protagonists that you root for. The Q&A afterwards lasted almost an hour, because the captivated audience had lots of comments, praise and questions.


The eventual winner of the Golden Bear is a dreamy study of a family on the verge of profound change in their lives. The Solé family are peach farmers in Catalonia but times are tough and so they stand to lose the land they have cultivated for generations. One last summer is all that remains and the director Carla Simón cast actual farmers and their families from the region in her warm hearted tale of these salt-oftheearth people. The non-actors (especially the children!) provide the film with a pure heart and soul. All that is embedded in the overall political and socio-economic times and paints a broad picture while highlighting the personal struggles. A truly worthy winner!

Millie Lies Low

Millie Lies Low poster

A quirky film about a young architectural student on her way to New York for a great job opportunity. In a bout of panic she leaves her flight before take off. But instead of just telling her friends and family, Millie lies to them about having flown to NYC. Complete with photo shopped pictures from the city and pretend phone calls from an alleyway, she spirals into an ever growing web of lies. Based on a real life incident, director Michelle Savill casts the roles with many indigenous and POC-actors without emphasizing cultural diversity. It is just the make up of New Zealand society that gets mirrored without pretence. Ana Scotney, with her lively, expressive face, finds endless humour in Millie’s adventures, but there is also a profound underlying tragedy of someone feeling uprooted and inadequate. A wonderfully entertaining film and one longs for the sequel – how about Millie Learns to Fly?

Bee at the Berlinale 2022

Honourable mentions:

The German Panorama entry TALKING ABOUT THE WEATHER for her depiction of the female protagonist’s return to her small home town she left for a career in Berlin. Her struggle to reconnect with family and friends rings very true.

Generation’s GIRL PICTURE for showing that love comes in all shapes as the 3 young women navigate their forays into different ideas of sex and intimacy.

Special Gala film GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE for just being fun and offering a brilliant show case for it’s stars Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack. Sometimes that is all you want and need!

After 10 days of pure cinema, I am already looking forward to Berlinale 2023!

Kudos to the organisers for showing 256 films

Bee at the 2022 Berlinale