The critics who formed our jury wrote about the festival. Here are there notes and observations.
Lonely and on Sanity's Edge. Meenakshi Shedde acclaims Francine for heralding two promising directors, not least for bringing out another excellent performance from Melissa Leo, this time playing an emotional unstable woman just released from prison.
Tears in Heaven. Bettina Schuler looks at how freedom of sexuality has caused the current young generation to be lost and emotionally tortured, as exemplified in Hemel, a film which also illustrates the problems in the relationship, not least age gap, between father and daughter.
Twilight of the Film Gods? Anne-Christine Loranger explains how Side by Side, a rich and informative documentary directed by Chris Kenneally and produced by Keanu Reeves, manages to capture the zeitgeist of present-day movie making and prophesize the future.
Crawling the Dark Corners of Parisian Nightlife. There is a fresh confidence, unique mood and overall originality in Atomic Age, the debut feature by Héléna Klotz, which Nils Saeveras argues conveys the inner psychosis and anxiety of two young Parisian night owls.
Belief and Self-Reflexivity. Youngmee Hwang extrapolates the documentary The Virgin, the Copts and Me (La vierge, les coptes et moi) to find that man translates situations differently according to his own perspective.
Locked into Infinity. The combination of an unforgettable visual experience and a haunting story made for one of the most surprising discoveries of this year's Berlinale. Zsolt Gyenge explains how Julian Roman Pölsler's The Wall (Die Wand) is a poetic and very cinematic adaptation of the legendary German novel with the same title.
A Kid's Struggle for Love and Affection. Beat Glur commends the unusual film Sister (L'enfant d'en haut) by Ursula Meier which tells the story of a boy's need to go up, in every sense of the term, by seeking physical, social and financial elevation.
The Never-ending Oppression. Claudia Lenssen looks at a patient, mature and thought-provoking addition to the large canon of films about the Israeli-Palestine conflict, even more commendable for being a debut feature film.
Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival: www.berlinale.de